A lawyer for Donald Trump has suggested the attempt to have the former president removed from the 2024 ballots over allegations he violated the 14th amendment on January 6 are “potentially tainting” a jury pool.
Lindsey Halligan, who is representing Trump in the cases covering the federal classified documents probe and the investigation into the events leading up to the January 6 Capitol riot, made the claim while discussing recent court filings from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office.
Smith had expressed fears that Trump’s “daily” posts on Truth Social, the social media site where the former president frequently denies all wrongdoing regarding the criminal investigations into him, are at risk of tainting a jury pool in the federal probe into the alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.
The issue arose when federal prosecutors and Trump’s legal teams were arguing whether certain motions related to the case should be filed under seal, and not made public.
“Such a requirement would grind litigation in this case to a halt, which is particularly infeasible given the pressing matters before the court—including the defendant’s daily extra judicial statements that threaten to prejudice the jury pool in this case, as described in the government’s motion,” Smith’s office wrote.
In response, Halligan suggested that the lawsuits calling for the frontrunner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary to be barred from running for the White House again over alleged Consitutional violations are more likely to influence a potential jury pool.
Section 3 in the 14th Amendment states that a person who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” after taking an oath of office to support the Constitution should be prevented from running for office again.
“Jack Smith filed a complaint in the January 6 case alleging that Donald Trump’s Truth [Social] posts are potentially tainting the jury pool,” Halligan told Newsmax.
“Well, I think this 14th amendment stuff is potentially tainting the jury pool. I think the January 6 committee—the fact that that was publicized for everyone to see and it was completely one-sided—that has potentially tainted the jury pool.”
The Department of Justice has been contacted for comment via email.
There are several individuals and organizations who have filed lawsuits looking to ban Trump from the 2024 ballots by arguing the former president engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the U.S.
John Anthony Castro, a Republican 2024 presidential candidate, filed a complaint in New Hampshire, which is due to be heard by the Supreme Court, where it is highly likely the conservative-majority bench will dismiss it.
A judge recently threw out a similar suit filed in Florida by Boynton Beach tax attorney Lawrence Caplan and two others. Judge Robin Rosenberg ruled that an individual “does not have [the] standing to challenge” whether another individual is qualified to hold public office.
On Wednesday, a group consisting of former Colorado Republican state, federal and local officials filed a lawsuit to have Trump removed from 2024 ballot in the Grand Canyon State over claims he violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
There are numerous other attempts to have Trump barred from running for president using the same claims, with some secretaries of state confirming they are examining whether the 14th amendment section can be applied to Trump next year.
In a recent Truth Social post, Trump said the 14th amendment “has no legal basis or standing” relative to the 2024 election, and claims the calls for it to be cited to bar him from the ballots are a “trick” to try to stop him winning the race next year.