In a surprising move, Donald Trump’s legal team, known for his criticism of the “fake news media,” found itself defending traditional media outlets on Wednesday.
In a filing for his criminal case in D.C., Trump acknowledged the accuracy of news reports from outlets like the New York Times, a stark departure from his usual stance.
The filing, supporting a motion to dismiss the case for “vindictive and selective prosecution,” argues that prosecutors led by Jack Smith failed to counter Trump’s claim that Joe Biden called for his criminal prosecution.
To support this argument, Trump’s legal team presented news reports as evidence. The filing questions the lack of competent evidence to refute Trump’s claims, stating, “If, for example, the New York Times falsely reported that President Biden told others that President Trump ‘should be prosecuted,’ then why not give the Court and the public peace of mind through the submission of competent evidence, rather than a blustering brief that is full of venom but deflects on the core facts?” It asserts that the media reports are accurate.
The filing highlights the unprecedented nature of the case, suggesting that a sitting president successfully influenced the Department of Justice to pursue charges against his political rival.
It accuses the Special Counsel of bringing flawed cases against Trump and rushing to trial, while President Biden awaits potential charges from a different Special Counsel.
Kyle Cheney, a senior legal affairs reporter for Politico, noted the contradiction between Trump’s usual rhetoric about the media and his legal team’s position, stating that Trump’s lawyers described the stories more accurately than the prosecutors did.
This instance exemplifies a pattern of Trump’s attorneys taking positions inconsistent with the former president’s public rhetoric.