Jack Smith and Trump clash on Mar-a-Lago juror questions
Share and Follow

Jack Smith, Donald Trump

Jack Smith (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin), Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Attorneys for Donald Trump and the Special Counsel’s Office have filed a joint proposed questionnaire for potential jurors in the former president’s prosecution under the Espionage Act for his alleged willful retention of classified national defense information at Mar-a-Lago and concomitant conspiracy to obstruct the recovery of those documents.

While one Wednesday filing included the list of questions, some of them color-coded to highlight areas of partial agreement or outright disagreement, a second filing helpfully summarized which questions were opposed by the parties. Questions by special counsel Jack Smith that are opposed by Trump’s lawyers are in red; questions by Trump attorneys that Smith objected to are in blue. An accompanying table specified that Trump’s team objected to questions 66, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 84, 85, 86, 90, and 98; Jack Smith objected to questions 32, 33, 34, 62, 63, 64, 87, 88, 89, 93, 94.

Here’s what those questions are (note: the questions at issue mostly sought yes or no answers but sometimes requested further explanation).

Government questions that Trump opposes

66. Are you a resident, property owner, or member at any of the Trump properties listed above?
71. Do you believe the 2020 U.S. presidential election was stolen?
Yes_____ No_____ Not sure_____
72. Do you have any opinions, feelings, or beliefs about the U.S. Department of Justice or the FBI?
74. How would you describe the amount of media coverage you have seen or heard about this case?
_____A lot (many articles, feeds, television stories, and/or radio coverage)
_____A moderate amount (basic coverage in the news)
_____A little (basically just heard about it, but haven’t read or followed much)
_____None (never heard of case before today
75. Have you read about or heard about the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at the Mar-a-Lago Club in August 2022?
76. If your answer to the previous question was “Yes,” do you have any opinions about the FBI’s execution of the search warrant?
77. Have you seen, read about, or heard about any statements by Mr. Trump about this investigation?
78. If your answer to the previous question was “Yes,” what is your opinion about Mr. Trump’s statements?
79. Have you seen, read about, or heard about any statements by Mr. Trump about the Special Counsel’s Office or the Special Counsel, Jack Smith?
80. If your answer to the previous question was “Yes,” what is your opinion about Mr. Trump’s statements?
84. Do you have any concerns about the reactions of your friends, family, or community to your service as a juror on this case?
85. Members of the jury in this case will have to render a verdict based on the evidence presented at trial and the instructions on the law that the Court provides, and must disregard and put out of mind any potential consequences of their verdict, one way or the other. Do you have any concerns about being able to follow this rule?
Yes_____ No_____ Maybe_____
86. Do you have any opinions or concerns about a former President of the United States being charged with a crime?
90. If selected as a juror in this case, you must consider the case of each defendant separately and individually. If you find any defendant guilty of one crime, that must not affect your verdict for any other crime, or any other defendant. Are you willing and able to follow this instruction?
98. Have you ever changed your mind about an important decision you had to make in your life?

Trump questions Jack Smith opposes

32. Are you registered to vote?
33. If you responded “yes” to the prior question, are you registered with a particular party affiliation?
34. Did you vote in the 2020 Presidential election?
62. Have you heard or read anything about the charges against former President Donald J. Trump in this case?
63. Have you heard or read anything about Mr. Waltine Nauta?
64. Have you heard or read anything about Mr. Carlos De Oliveira?
87. An indictment is not evidence. It is a document that sets forth the charges made against a defendant; it is an accusation. It may not be considered as any evidence whatsoever of a defendant’’s guilt. Can you think of any reason that would interfere with your ability to follow and apply this principle of law?
88. A defendant is presumed innocent and cannot be found guilty unless the jury, unanimously and based solely on the evidence in this case, finds that the government has proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proving guilt rests entirely with the government. The defendant is not required to prove his innocence. Can you think of any reason that would interfere with your ability to follow and apply these principles of law?
89. The United States has the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt as to each defendant and each individual count on the indictment separately.
a. If the United States proves a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant must be found guilty. Can you think of any reason that would interfere with your ability to follow and apply this principle of law?
b. If the United States fails to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant must be found not guilty. Can you think of any reason that would interfere with your ability to follow and apply this principle of law?
93. One instruction the Court will give you is that the defendants in this case have the absolute right not to testify. However, one or more defendants may nevertheless elect to testify. If one or more defendant testifies but others do not, would you have an opinion about the guilt of a defendant who does not testify?
94. Could you impartially consider the evidence of this case irrespective of a defendant’s motive?

While it’s not yet clear why the prosecution and defense are specifically clashing on each of these questions, the joint proposal told U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon the two sides are prepared to elaborate on their positions.

“At the Court’s direction, the parties are prepared to file papers explaining the bases for our disagreements,” the filing said.

Unsurprisingly, the government and the defense also don’t agree on how long the trial will last, with Smith gunning for 4-6 weeks and Trump attorneys pushing for 8-10 weeks.

Days before Christmas, the special counsel asked Cannon to get a head start on mailing out jury questionnaires to sniff out “potential bias” and “winnow” the jury pool, arguing that the cases of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling were examples where pre-trial publicity issues made mailers an efficient approach viewed “favorably” by the Supreme Court.

Trump lawyers opposed the request.

Read the color-coded jury questionnaire and summary of the parties’ agreements/disagreements here and here.

Share and Follow
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Mother charged with negligence after leaving son at home alone to go out drinking, resulting in his death.

(Left inset) 3-year-old Yael Guardado-Prudencio (WCVB/screengrab), Jennifer Prudencio appears at her arraignment…

Woman breathed in whippets during accident that led to teen’s death, according to authorities.

Background: Maddix Bias, 18, was killed in a crash this February (GoFundMe)…

North Carolina Mother and Her Children Found Murdered, 4-Year-Old Bound with Diapers Around Her Head

North Carolina investigators disclosed new details regarding the death of a North…

Police Report: Teacher Enlisted Students for Prostitution Scheme

Kedria Grigsby, inset, a teacher at Klein Cain High School near Houston,…

Florida Man Drugged Teen, Held her Against Her Will for Sex

A Florida man has been arrested for kidnapping a girl he met…

Lawsuit involving Gaetz and MTG resurfaces to trouble John Eastman.

Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz (left), (right) attorney John…

Grand Jury Indicts Former Assistant Principal of School Where 6-Year-Old Boy Shot His Teacher

A special grand jury in Virginia this week indicted on child abuse…

Police report that a baby died after being left unattended in a car seat for 13 hours by their mother.

Raeleigh Phillips is accused of leaving her baby boy in a car…