Special Counsel Jack Smith Renews Gag Order Request on Trump After Judge’s Dismissal


Special counsel Jack Smith has issued a renewed request for a gag order on former President Donald Trump after Judge Alieen Cannon dismissed the initial motion.

Smith’s request aims to prevent Trump from making statements regarding the law enforcement officers who conducted the search of his Mar-a-Lago residence, where they discovered significant amounts of classified documents. Trump faces 40 counts in Florida related to alleged mishandling of classified materials post-presidency and attempts to obstruct the Justice Department’s probe.

“These deceptive and inflammatory claims expose the law enforcement professionals involved in this case to unjustified and unacceptable risks: they invite the sort of threats and harassment that have occurred when other participants in legal proceedings against Trump have been targeted by his invective,” prosecutors Jay Bratt and David Harbach stated. 

Smith’s original request followed a claim by Trump last week accusing FBI agents who searched his home in August 2022 of being “authorized to shoot me” and “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

During the search, FBI agents adhered to their standard use-of-force policy, which permits deadly force only if the officer reasonably believes that the individual being searched intends to harm the officer or another person.

Prosecutors argued that Trump’s comments have created “a grossly misleading impression about the intentions and conduct of federal law enforcement agents—falsely suggesting that they were complicit in a plot to assassinate him—and expose those agents, some of whom will be witnesses at trial, to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment.”

In a statement, Trump’s legal team called the request “a blatant violation of the First Amendment rights of President Trump and the American People, which would in effect allow President Trump’s political opponent to regulate his campaign communications to voters across the country.”

Trump’s attorneys also criticized the timing of Smith’s original request, made on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, labeling it “suspicious.” Smith’s second request, also submitted late on a Friday, raises concerns as Judge Cannon emphasized that “sufficient time” must be allowed for responses, or parties could face sanctions.

“Any future, non-emergency motion brought in this case — whether on the topic of release conditions or anything else — shall not be filed absent meaningful, timely, and professional conferral,” Cannon stated. 

The trial remains without a determined start date and has seen slow progress so far.

Annabella Rosciglione
Annabella Rosciglione
Breaking News Reporter. Annabella is a graduate of UW-Madison where she worked at the Daily Cardinal reporting on Wisconsin politics.

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