Special Counsel Jack Smith has filed a request to protect the jurors in the former president’s 1/6 trial from Trump’s attacks.
If the Court approves the use of a questionnaire, the parties will learn the identities of potential jurors in advance of in-person jury selection. It is commonplace in this District for parties, once they are provided with jurors’ identifying information, to conduct open-source social media research on the venire. Given the particular sensitivities of this case, stemming both from heightened public interest and the defendant’s record of using social media to attack others, the Court should impose certain limited restrictions on the ability of the parties to conduct research on potential jurors during jury selection and trial and to use juror research. In addition, the Court should strictly enforce the standard practices in this District designed to shield juror identities from the public.
There are other good reasons in this case for the Court to impose these restrictions and enforce this District’s standard prohibition against publicizing jurors’ identities. Chief among them is the defendant’s continued use of social media as a weapon of intimidation in court proceedings. In addition to the record before the Court from the Government’s previous filings, see ECF Nos. 57 & 64, just last week the defendant escalated his conduct and publicly attacked the trial judge’s law clerk in his pending civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court.
Prosecutors have caught on to Trump’s social media tactics, and they are using his behavior in one case as a justification for placing restrictions on him in others.
There is no doubt that Trump will attempt to harass and intimidate everyone, from court officials to jurors, if preventive steps are not taken.
Donald Trump has shown a willingness to cheat and warp systems to win. That willingness is why he is being tried for alleged crimes related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump has never faced anything like this. Each time he acts out, there are consequences, and he is going to be held accountable in a court of law for his actions.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association