Special counsel Jack Smith is offering to provide evidence that could help Donald Trump in his classified documents case, according to a new court filing from the Justice Department.

In a Monday court filing, Smith said, “The Government is providing information or material known to the United States that may be favorable to either defendant on the issues of guilt or punishment.”

The Brady rule, named after the landmark Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland, requires prosecutors to disclose to the defense all material information that is favorable to a defendant and in their possession. This constitutional duty can be breached regardless of whether that information is withheld intentionally or unintentionally. If a violation were to be discovered during a trial, the court could declare a mistrial or block the Justice Department from using unfavorable evidence.

“The filing is a standard supplemental discovery document,” former federal prosecutor and elected state attorney Michael McAuliffe told Newsweek. “It incorporates the format used in the standard discovery order issued by the court in a criminal case. The standard discovery order includes the language about providing any exculpatory or other evidence that is favorable to the defense.”

The discovery process in the classified documents case has resulted in a messy fight between Smith and Trump’s legal team. The special counsel asked Judge Aileen Cannon last month to reconsider a ruling that would allow Trump’s lawyers to publicly disclose witness identities and their testimony—evidence given to them in discovery—to the court docket.

In a court filing, Smith argued, “That discovery material, if publicly docketed in unredacted form as the Court has ordered, would disclose the identities of numerous potential witnesses, along with the substance of the statements they made to the FBI or the grand jury, exposing them to significant and immediate risks of threats, intimidation, and harassment.”

Smith said this has “already happened to witnesses, law enforcement agents, judicial officers, and Department of Justice employees whose identities have been disclosed in cases in which defendant Trump is involved.”

On Monday, the government offered a full copy of a warrant application for Walt Nauta, a Trump aide and co-defendant in the documents case, that it had not provided before, as well as a memorandum of a new interview that appears to have been recently conducted on February 9.

However, even though Smith says the evidence could be favorable to Trump, McAuliffe doesn’t expect it will clear him in the case, which has 40 charges accusing him of mishandling classified records and attempting to obstruct the government’s retrieval of those documents from his Florida estate.

“I don’t read the filing as classifying the new interview as exculpatory,” McAuliffe said.

Smith noted that there could be additional evidence, saying that “the government is aware of its continuing duty to disclose newly discovered additional information required by the Standing Discovery Order.”

Jack Smith Evidence Trump
Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment including four felony counts against former President Donald Trump on August 1, 2023 in Washington, DC. Smith noted in a Monday court filing…

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