Jack Smith may have put himself in a legal predicament by admitting this week that he may have violated the same federal law being used to prosecute former President Donald Trump and hundreds of J6 participants, according to a legal analysis.

Legal experts have previously suggested that Smith might have mishandled the classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago during the FBI’s August 2022 raid. Last week, the prosecutor acknowledged that some boxes containing the documents were incorrectly categorized and that there were discrepancies in the chain of custody that could not explain why the contents of the boxes had been disturbed since then. Andrea Widburg from the legal blog American Thinker speculated that such missteps could jeopardize Smith’s case.

Like those arrested for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol Building, one could argue that Smith’s team may have violated of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) which carries up to 20 years in prison for an individual who “corruptly…obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding.” That said, the U.S. Supreme Court is currently deliberating a case brought by one J6 defendant who has argued credibly that Joe Biden’s Justice Department is ignoring another passage which states that an individual who “alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding…” is guilty. A key defense argument is that no physical records or documents were obstructed during the January 6th, 2021 Capitol riots.

In a filing on Friday, Smith acknowledged discrepancies between the contents of boxes seized from the property and the itemizations provided to Trump’s co-defendant, Walt Nauta. However, Smith dismissed the concerns raised by the former Trump aide, asserting that the information Nauta received was “entirely accurate.”

However, it’s “no small matter” for Smith to concede that the government may not have kept evidence in the state in which it was seized, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said on Monday. “Prosecutors have a duty to preserve evidence, Larry, exactly as it is seized,” Jarrett told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow, the Daily Caller reports. “Jack Smith’s special counsel admits now in court documents altering, manipulating evidence against Trump. The digital scan of documents doesn’t match the physical order in the boxes that were seized.”

American Thinker’s Widburg noted:

As any litigator knows, maintaining documents in the order in which they’re seized or produced is enormously important. That’s because order itself provides important information about the chronology of events or a person’s intent or innocence. It’s also of particular concern in this case because these documents were apparently packed by the General Services Administration, which then told Trump to pick them up.

In addition, it’s now beyond question that the DOJ doctored the crime scene photos it publicized to the world to “prove” that Donald Trump had allegedly violated national security laws. (See my disclaimer above about Trump’s immunity from such a claim.)

According to Widburg, these two cases demonstrate how the DOJ has violated the law by modifying records they use against defendants.“That strongly implies both corruption and intention, two elements of a criminal cause of action,” she concluded.

Smith’s prosecutions of Trump could potentially be consigned to the waste bin of history. This week, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida indefinitely paused his classified documents case, citing the ongoing Manhattan trial of Trump as creating too much uncertainty to set a trial date. Should Trump secure a second term in the White House, it is highly likely that he would exercise executive authority to terminate both federal cases against him.


Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.