Prosecutors are using former President Donald Trump’s large social media presence as evidence in the criminal charges against him, saying that his online attacks on various aspects of the cases could potentially influence the jury pool.
In a recent hearing before US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, Molly Gaston, an Assistant US Attorney under Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith, said that Trump’s persistent criticisms directed towards judges, witnesses, and even the city of Washington, DC, might influence potential jurors.
Trump’s Impactful Social Media Posts
Federal prosecutors have accused Trump of breaking the law by conspiring to obstruct Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Tainting the Jury
The key point lies in the concern that Trump’s frequent social media posts could taint the jury pool’s impartiality.
Prosecutors now advocate for an expedited trial, setting the stage for a January 2024 trial date.
Moving the Date
This strategic move of the trial date seeks to conclude the proceedings well before the November 2024 presidential election, wherein Trump is positioned as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
A Different Date
In contrast to the initial 2024 court date, Trump’s defense team suggested a trial date as late as 2026.
The Date’s Significance
The significance of this timing is that, if Trump were to secure victory in the 2024 election, he might wield the powers of his presidency to delay or pardon himself.
The Judge’s Decision
US District Judge Chutkan, navigating these differing proposals, ultimately slated the trial for March 4, 2024, only a day before Super Tuesday.
Social Media’s Influence on Legal Outcomes
Trump’s consistent use of social media to express his views and opinions has consistently drawn legal scrutiny.
Cited in Trial
During a civil sexual abuse lawsuit trial, his posts on the Truth Social platform were cited by Judge Lewis Kaplan as potential tampering with the case.
The worry here is that Trump’s extensive online reach enables him to indirectly communicate with jurors, influencing the impartiality of the legal proceedings.
Increasing the difficult situation, Trump’s posts have also prompted judges to issue restrictions.
Judge Juan Merchan, overseeing Trump’s Manhattan criminal case, imposed a gag order to prevent sharing trial evidence on social media before the trial.
In a separate RICO case in Atlanta, Trump’s bond conditions explicitly barred him from making threats against witnesses, co-defendants, or the community in which potential jurors reside.
The Quest for Fair Trials
Trump’s legal team has actively sought to challenge trial dates and venues throughout these legal battles.
In the recent hearing, attorney John Lauro intends to file a motion for a change of venue, suggesting a shift to West Virginia.
The use of Donald Trump’s social media posts as evidence in legal proceedings have become common in his many legal trials and some question his ability to make such posts.
One social media user stated, “If any one of us did that, we’d already be in jail for contempt of court or worse.”
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The post Defiant: Trump’s Social Media Antics Could Be Used Against Him in Court, But Will That Stop Him? first appeared on Back Edge News.
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