Sarah May
September 17, 2023

Former federal prosecutor: Finding unbiased DC jury for Trump perhaps 'impossible'

With many already believing that the deck is greatly stacked against former President Donald Trump in the federal election interference case poised to be tried in Washington, D.C., a former Justice Department prosecutor has come forward to admit that it will indeed be virtually impossible for him to get a fair trial in the nation's capital, as The Hill reports.

The comments from former prosecutor Gene Rossi come in the wake of a request from special counsel Jack Smith for a “limited” gag order on Trump for the duration of the case.

“Impossible” bias

Citing Trump's own conduct in the wake of his indictment -- let alone the ideological makeup of the surrounding area -- Rossi opined that in terms of the former president's trial prospects in Washington, it will be “impossible, or very hard, to get a fair and unbiased jury pool.”

“I think Donald Trump wants to poison this jury in the worst way because he knows that the evidence against him is so strong, and the only way he can win is to create a jury pool that is so tainted,” Rossi added during an appearance on CNN.

Seemingly in agreement with that assessment was Smith, who sought the imposition of a “narrowly tailored” gag order on Trump Friday, as Fox News reported.

Smith seeks "narrow" order

In his request to federal District Judge Tanya Chutkan, Smith declared his belief that Trump must be prevented from making public statements that might “present a serious and substantial danger of materially prejudicing this case.”

Smith accused the former president of taking steps to promulgate disinformation meant to intimidate government lawyers and sabotage public confidence in the courts.

The order proposed by Smith would stop Trump from making public statements related to the identity, testimony, or credibility of anyone potentially serving as a witness in his case.

Decision pending

Though Chutkan has yet to weigh in on Smith's request, Trump on Friday characterized the move as the special counsel wanting to “take away [his] right of speaking freely.”

Rossi told CNN that he expects Smith's request to be granted and went so far as to suggest that the former president could – and should – face jailing if he breaches the resulting order on multiple occasions.

“Give him a couple of mulligans,” Rossi said. “Let him hang himself after a gag order.”

The former prosecutor added, “If he breaks the rules two or three times, you have to do something about it, and incarceration would possible be a remedy. It would have to be,” though the political backlash to such a move, if actually employed, would assuredly be something to behold.

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