Later today, Special Counsel Jack Smith is expected to file notice to attorneys for former president Donald Trump of “any crimes, wrongs, or other bad acts” the Justice Department believes Trump committed in his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost in an electoral landslide to President Joe Biden.
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance notes on Substack that the filing — known formally as a 404(b) notice — is meant to show “evidence of a prior crime, for instance, can be offered to prove ‘motive, opportunity [to commit the crime], intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident.'”
Given what we already know about Smith’s case against Trump, Vance continues, it’s safe to believe that the special counsel is about to reveal “some important evidence” that significantly boosts has case against the ex-president.
Expect him to focus on proving Trump’s state of mind when it comes to election fraud and the absence of a good faith belief that the path he was setting the nation on would not result in the type of obstructive violence we saw on January 6—in other words, it was no mistake. Smith will also have to advise Trump about the permitted purpose he believes he can offer any 404(b) evidence for and the reasoning in support of his view. This, coincidentally, forces Smith (or perhaps gives him the opportunity depending on your point of view), to educate the public a fair bit more about his case.
Trump is also facing federal criminal prosecution for allegedly stealing classified documents from the White House and transporting them to his Mar-a-Lago resort. That case will be heard in a Florida courtroom while the Jan. 6 case it proceeding in Washington, D.C. with U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan presiding. Chutkan has signaled that she intends to start the trial before the 2024 election is held, which could prove politically disastrous for Trump.
Additionally, the former president is being prosecuted for racketeering in Georgia as a result of his attempts to subvert the will of voters in the Peach State. Several co-defendants have already agreed to cooperate with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.