Special counsel letter to court a sign he won't be cutting Trump's lawyers 'any slack': former DOJ official
Jack Smith, Donald TYrump (DOJ photo/Photo via AFP)

During an appearance on MSNBC on Saturday afternoon, former Department of Justice official Harry Litman claimed a surprise letter to the court from newly-appointed special counsel Jack Smith is not a good sign for Donald Trump's legal team going forward.

During Thanksgiving week, Smith fired off a letter to the judges on the 11th Circuit of Appeals protesting an assertion by lawyers representing the former president.

As Law and Crime reported, "The 11th Circuit’s three-judge panel, comprised of two Trump appointees and a George W. Bush appointee, asked Trump whether a court ever asserted equitable jurisdiction to block the government from reviewing seized records pending review by a special master. Trump’s legal team claimed that the Giuliani case provided a precedent for that," which in turn led to Smith and a fellow U.S. Attorney to fire off a letter explaining that Trump's lawyers were wrong while clarifying the government's actions.

Asked about the letter by host Alex Witt, attorney Litman called it a warning shot from Smith.

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"Now, Jack Smith, that's a judgment call and a telling one here," Litman explained. "Something like that happens .... you are new to the case. There may be some people who say, 'you know, don't look too strident, don't do that, let it go. The court will figure it out.' Jack Smith said 'no.'"

"He wrote a letter, a very straightforward, one-paragraph letter that said, this is incorrect for these three reasons," he reported. "In other words, he really did swat them down and it showed he is not gonna be cutting a lot of slack, he is holding their feet to the fire."

"That matters a lot for the Trump team because they are very often barefoot," he joked before adding, "He is really showing his reputation for being pretty aggressive."

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