NYT Writer Says Jack Smith’s Charges Against Trump Are ‘Weak’

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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A New York Times senior writer described Special Counsel Jack Smith’s charges against former President Donald Trump as weak in a legal breakdown published Thursday.

David Leonhardt argued in his Times article that Trump did not violate any laws “in obvious ways” in the lead-up to or during the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot. He pointed out that Trump did not “directly” tell the Jan. 6 rioters to attack the Capitol and that he told the “Stop the Steal” rally protesters to remain peaceful.

“As for Trump’s broader effort to overturn the election result, no federal law specifically bars politicians from attempting to do so,” he wrote.

The former president is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.

Smith will have difficulty in this case as he will have to prove that Trump intended to lie about the election, Leonhardt wrote. The Times writer also argued that Trump did not violate any conspiracy laws if he truly believed the election had been stolen. (RELATED: NYT Columnist John McWhorter Says DeSantis ‘Did The Right Thing’ By Prohibiting AP African American History Course)

“Intent is core to the notion of fraud: Only if somebody is knowingly trying to deceive others can he be committing a fraud,” Leonhardt wrote. “If he is spouting falsehoods that he genuinely believes, he isn’t participating in an illegal conspiracy.”

Leonhardt also noted that there is no recording or testimony of Trump admitting that he lost the election, making it hard to prove.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy echoed Leonhardt’s argument when he claimed that Smith distorted statutes to make his case and that it would be difficult to prove Trump was lying.