Legal experts warn that Trump will be unable to receive a fair trial in a federal D.C. court

July 21, 2023
Ben Marquis

It appears increasingly likely that Special Counsel Jack Smith, in addition to his prosecution of former President Donald Trump for allegedly mishandling classified documents, is poised to also criminally indict Trump in relation to his efforts to dispute the 2020 election results and alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021.

If indicted on those issues, a trial would almost certainly be held in a Washington D.C. courtroom, but some legal experts have warned that it would be virtually impossible for Trump to receive a fair trial due to the highly partisan and biased D.C. jury pool, The Washington Times reported.

Indeed, there is ample evidence and prior examples that support the claim that D.C. is an overwhelmingly liberal and left-leaning jurisdiction in which around 90 percent of prospective jurors would be clearly aligned in favor of Democrats and the federal government and in opposition to Trump -- regardless of whatever the facts may be in those potential cases.

Might as well pick jurors from the DNC

The Times quoted George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley as saying, with respect to a potential trial involving former President Trump, "D.C. is arguably the worst possible jury pool outside of conducting voir dire entirely within the [Democratic National Committee] headquarters."

"There is no question that D.C. is the preferred jurisdiction for Smith. Most prosecutors would view it as the path of least resistance in a case against Trump," he added.

The outlet noted that in the 2016 and 2020 elections, Trump garnered only 4 percent and 5 percent of the vote among D.C. residents, respectively, while his Democratic opponents Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden won 91 percent and 93 percent of D.C. voters, respectively, and pointed out that only around 6 percent of D.C. voters are registered Republicans.

It was further highlighted how the biased jury pool in D.C. has been clearly evident over the past several years, as several Democrat-aligned defendants have been acquitted by D.C. juries, despite a plethora of evidence showing their guilt, while Republican-aligned defendants -- whether connected to Trump or facing charges over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- have been summarily convicted regardless of the tenuous nature of the purported evidence against them.

D.C. is a "trifecta" of Democratic bias against Trump

Mike Davis, an ally of the former president who runs the Article III Project, told the Times that it isn't just a biased jury pool in D.C. that poses a problem to Trump and conservatives, but rather that the entire judicial system in the nation's capital is stacked in favor of Democrats.

"It’s the worst combination for Trump: a highly political prosecutor, largely partisan Democrat judges, and a jury pool that is 90% Democrat. It’s a trifecta that guarantees Trump will be found guilty," Davis said.

"This is Jack Smith’s insurance policy to ensure a conviction," he continued in reference to the classified documents case being tried in the more GOP-friendly environs of South Florida. "He’s bringing a case in D.C. because Trump got a fair judge and will get a fair jury in Florida."

Even DOJ acknowledges existence of biased jury pools

The Federalist reported in May that Special Counsel John Durham even highlighted the incredibly biased and partisan jury pool in D.C. as part of his final report on the origins of the baseless Trump-Russia collusion narrative that sparked an FBI investigation and years of unsupported allegations against the former president.

In explaining why he had declined to pursue criminal charges against wrongdoers identified in his sweeping investigation, Durham wrote, "First, juries can bring strongly held views to the courtroom in criminal trials involving political subject matters, and those views can, in turn, affect the likelihood of obtaining a conviction, separate and apart from the strength of the actual evidence and despite a court’s best efforts to empanel a fair and impartial jury."

The Justice Department's own manual on "The Principles of Federal Prosecution" makes a similar case as well that can be applied to Trump's situation in D.C., albeit from the opposite perspective, that despite having a "sound, prosecutable case," there always remains "the likelihood of an acquittal due to unpopularity of some aspect of the prosecution or because of the overwhelming popularity of the defendant or his/her cause."

All one must do with regard to D.C. and Trump is change a few words in that statement from the DOJ's manual to instead detail the "likelihood of a conviction due to the popularity of some aspect of the prosecution or because of the overwhelming unpopularity of the defendant or his/her cause," to see that there is almost certainly no possibility that Trump can or will receive a fair trial if criminally charged in D.C.

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