A former federal prosecutor said it’s not likely that federal prosecutors will be able to secure a fair jury for former President Trump in Washington, D.C.
It will be “impossible, or very hard, to get a fair and unbiased jury pool,” former prosecutor Gene Rossi told CNN on Friday.
Rossi explained that Trump’s actions surrounding his legal battles could taint the trial — including issuing public statements about his case and against potential witnesses. Special counsel Jack Smith requested a limited gag order on Trump’s actions Friday.
“I think Donald Trump wants to poison this jury in the worst way because he knows that the evidence against him is so strong, and the only way he can win is to create a jury pool that is so tainted,” Rossi said.
Trump responded to Smith’s request on Friday, claiming the prosecutor “wants to take away my right of speaking freely.”
Prosecutors argue that the former president’s speech should be limited related to the case, and that he should not be allowed to talk about testimony or witnesses.
Rossi said he believes that a gag order will be implemented, and that Trump could even be jailed if he continuously violates it.
“Give him a couple of mulligans. Let him hang himself after a gag order,” he said, adding “If he breaks the rules two or three times, you have to do something about it and incarceration would possibly be a remedy. It would have to be.”
Trump has floated similar arguments about a potentially unfair trial in the nation’s capital.
He told the judge presiding over his Georgia elections trial earlier this month that he may attempt to move it to federal court. The case in Atlanta would draw from a mostly-Democratic pool of jurors in Fulton County.
Smith’s case against Trump alleges that he helped orchestrate a scheme to overturn the 2020 election results. The former president has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., obstruction and other lesser charges.
The case is expected to go to trial in March.
Trump faces four criminal trials in the upcoming year, two alleging that he attempted to overturn the 2020 election. He also faces allegations that he mishandled classified documents and falsified business documents in New York.
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