The special counsel’s office accused the former president of creating a ‘false narrative’ in the case.
The special counsel’s team leading the classified documents case against Donald Trump argued that his lawyers have created an “inaccurate and distorted picture of events” after the former president’s lawyers said there was collusion between the special counsel’s office and the Biden administration.
“The defendants’ motion paints an inaccurate and distorted picture of events,” they wrote, saying that the Trump team of lawyers should address so-called “misstatements” that may “leave a highly misleading impression on a number of matters” regarding the case.
The claims came in a court filing responding to a Trump team request from last month that sought to force prosecutors to turn over a trove of information that defense lawyers believe is relevant to the case.
“Their apparent aim is to cast a cloud of suspicion over responsible actions by government officials diligently doing their jobs,” prosecutors said in the filing, while asserting President Trump’s “insinuations have scant factual or legal relevance to their discovery requests, but they should not stand uncorrected.”
They added that prosecutors “confronted an extraordinary situation: a former President engaging in calculated and persistent obstruction of the collection of Presidential records, which, as a matter of law, belong to the United States for the benefit of history and posterity, and, as a matter of fact, here included a trove of highly classified documents containing some of the nation’s most sensitive information.”
President Trump faces dozens of felony counts in federal court in Florida accusing him of illegally retaining classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate and obstructing government efforts to retrieve them. The case is currently set for trial on May 20, but that date could be pushed back.
Also in their recent court filing, prosecutors said many of the defense lawyers’ requests were too general and vague. In other instances, they said, they had already provided extensive information to the defense.
What Trump’s Lawyers Said
In mid-January, President Trump’s lawyers wrote that the basis of the probe into the classified documents was “politically motivated” and carried out by “operatives” within the Biden administration as well as the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It cited recently obtained Freedom of Information Act records that they said “represent discovery violations in which the Special Counsel’s Office failed to produce documents that support arguments and positions the defense has articulated since at least October 2023.”
They then accused the special counsel’s office of coordinating with prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, who have also indicted President Trump in a separate investigation related to the 2020 election.
“Under these circumstances, evidence demonstrating that parts of the Biden Administration coordinated with Georgia prosecutors to file additional politically motivated charges—while the same White House counsel’s office was coordinating with NARA during the investigation—supports President Trump’s defense that the Biden administration was coordinating behind the scenes to try to eliminate President Biden’s leading political rival,” the lawyers said. “The special counsel’s office must produce any documents further reflecting this coordination.”
More Court Activity
The filing comes after President Trump was handed a win last week after a federal judge in another case, which is also being prosecuted by Mr. Smith, wrote in an order that she is postponing his March 4 trial date. In that case, the former president is accused of illegally plotting to overturn the 2020 election, which he denies and pleaded not guilty to.
“The court will set a new schedule if and when the mandate is returned,” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote. The case was paused in early December as the former president appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals on arguments that he is immune from prosecution from actions he took as president.
It’s not clear when the D.C. appeals court will issue a decision on the matter. Some analysts have speculated that the immunity case could make it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
He also faces charges in Georgia, where President Trump faces separate election-related charges, and New York City, where he faces charges of falsifying business records during the end of the 2016 presidential campaign. He has pleaded not guilty, saying the cases are politically motivated attempts to harm him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.