Not only is that argument undermined by Trump’s statements on Jan. 6, 2021—he told protestors to “peacefully and patriotically make [their] voices heard”—but it’s also undermined by the department’s own prosecutors, Trump’s lawyers argued in a motion filed Monday evening.
Indeed, in the Oath Keepers sedition trial last year, Justice Department lawyers argued that those defendants’ actions were not, in fact, directed by Trump.
“It strains credulity to suggest that the Office’s current position regarding responsibility for January 6 is consistent with, for example, the prior contention that there was ‘an intent to fight to stop that [election] result with or without somebody like President Trump calling them into action,’” Trump’s lawyers said in their motion, citing a statement a DOJ lawyer made in the Oath Keepers trial.
As part of discovery in the DOJ’s election interference case against Trump, his lawyers want to compel the DOJ to produce any similar statements made about Trump’s lack of culpability for Jan. 6.
As Headline USA reported Monday, they also want all records about undercover law enforcement assets at the Capitol that day.
Another Jan. 6 defendant, Ryan Zink, had previously unsuccessfully motioned for the DOJ to disclose all undercover law enforcement actors in the Capitol crowd.
Zink had argued that agent provocateurs may have fomented violence on Jan. 6.
Trump’s motion, on the other hand, explicitly stated that the former President isn’t looking to argue that Jan. 6 was an entrapment operation.
“President Trump is not seeking to establish that he was induced to engage in the charged conduct. Rather, in this case, information regarding individuals who were present in an official capacity is favorable to President Trump because it suggests that there were adequate controls in place and that the violence at issue resulted from a failure of those controls and/or failed sting operations rather than any directions from President Trump,” Trump’s lawyers said.
Smith’s office has yet to respond to Trump’s motion.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.