Media's bias, ignorance fueling public debate on Trump case: Jarrett

Media's bias, ignorance fueling public debate on Trump case: Jarrett

Media's bias, ignorance fueling public debate on Trump case: Jarrett

While a former U.S. attorney general says the indictment of Donald Trump may be "very damning," another legal expert says it's not the "slam dunk" case that's being portrayed to the public.

That's because much of the discussion and speculation on the indictment has come from the journalist camp, not with legal experts appearing on television news shows, Fox News contributor and legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said on American Family Radio Monday.

The result is a discussion led by mainstream media, most of whom – according to Jarrett – hope to see the former Republican president led away in handcuffs.

"The mainstream media, the liberal media, are convicting Trump in the court of public opinion, pronouncing that he's guilty of crimes. Frankly, their pronouncement is driven by a blinding political bias and ignorance of the law," Jarrett told show host Jenna Ellis. "They don't appreciate that an indictment is simply a set of accusations, often inflated; and that a defendant – in this particular case, Donald Trump – has several viable defenses."

Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr was a defender of Trump in the March indictment brought by a New York grand jury led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, but he's accused Trump of reckless behavior in the handling of classified documents that led to the latest indictment by a Florida grand jury.

"He's so egotistical that he has this pension for conducting risky reckless acts to show that he can sort of get away with it," Barr said earlier this month. "It's part of asserting his ego, and he's done this repeatedly at the expense of all the people who depend on him to conduct the public's business in an honorable way."

Former Trump aides in attack mode over weekend

Barr was a guest on CBS News' "Face The Nation" Sunday when he said the case against Trump was "entirely of his own making." Trump, said Barr, is "like a defiant nine-year-old kid who is always pushing the glass towards the edge of the table, defying his parents from stopping him from doing it."

Barr was one of two former Trump administration officials talking on Sunday news shows. The other, former Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, told CNN'S "State of the Union" that Trump's actions created a national security risk.

Jarrett, Gregg (Fox News) Jarrett

Those eager to see Trump convicted need to pump the brakes and consider the multiple options available to Trump's defense team, Jarrett said.

"They're going to file pretrial motions, challenging the 37 charges. They're going to claim the Presidential Records Act takes precedence over the Espionage Act, and that's most of the charges," Jarrett said, continuing:

"They're going to claim it's selective prosecution, which is a violation of Trump's due process rights. They're going to claim the search warrant was overly broad and the evidence should be excluded. They're certainly going to seek to suppress or exclude the testimony of Trump's lawyer, Evan Corcoran.

"If you knock out some of these charges in pretrial motions, that may also knock out obstruction of justice [because] you can't obstruct non-crimes," Jarrett added.

It's not only media cheering against Trump

Even the court filings for the indictment have a "get Trump" feel about them, according to the Fox News legal analyst.

The filings show that Stanley Woodward, the attorney for Trump aide Walt Nauta, an alleged co-conspirator, said that during one of his meetings with prosecutors he was told by a high-ranking Justice official that his application for a Washington, DC, Superior Court judgeship might be considered more favorably if he and his client cooperated against Trump.

"It's prosecutorial misconduct in the extreme," Jarrett exclaimed. "Americans should be horrified at something like that."

Woodward's statement in court filings is just one of many examples of a process willing to break the rules to convict Trump, Jarrett said.

Tim Palatore, a former Trump attorney, has described a brazen prosecution team that doesn't hide its intentions.

"Tim Palatore has described his experience in front of the grand jury. He was one of Trump's many lawyers, and he voluntarily went in to testify. He recounts 45 different episodes of how prosecutors egregiously violated Trump's rights. These two are all going to be subject to challenge by Trump's lawyers," Jarrett said.

Prosecutor's tarnished track record

And the more media report on the indictment, the more the background of prosecutor Jack Smith comes to light, says Jarrett. Smith doesn't possess an impressive track record, he explains, which leaves Jarrett and others wondering if Smith was the best the DOJ could bring to the table for such a high-profile prosecution.

"This is the sort of thing that special counsel Jack Smith has historically done. He utterly bungled his prosecution of [former Democratic Senator] John Edwards. He ruined the life and career of [former Virginia] Gov. Bob McDonnell and was spanked by the U.S. Supreme Court that rejected his legal theories unanimously.

"I mean, this is a guy with an abysmal track record – and some of the lawyers at the DOJ who were working for him, one in particular, was actually fired for prosecutorial misconduct," Jarrett said.

Jarrett called the DOJ strategy "thuggish tactics," but the tactics are consistent with an FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate – and the DOJ, he adds, has telegraphed its disdain for Trump at every opportunity.

"Is anyone really surprised that these tactics are being used against Donald Trump?" Jarrett asked.

"Look at the misconduct, the abusive nature of [former FBI director and DOJ special counsel] Bob Mueller, the witch hunt over collusion. He stacked his team of prosecutors with hyper partisans led by Andrew Weissman, one of the most despicable attorneys you will ever meet," the legal analyst concludes.

"This is what the DOJ does: they have immense power, unlimited resources, and they go after people they don't like, by hook or by crook. That's what they're doing with the selection of Jack Smith here. It's not even close to being objective, fair and neutral."

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