Trump ridicules special counsel’s gag order request in new filing in classified documents case

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Donald Trump’s attorneys on Friday ridiculed special counsel Jack Smith’s gag order request in the former president’s classified documents case in Florida, calling it an unconstitutional attack on the 2024 Republican candidate and a ploy to help Joe Biden keep the presidency.

“In Jack Smith’s most recent shocking display of overreach and disregard for the Constitution, the Special Counsel’s Office asks the Court to enter an unconstitutional gag order as one of the release conditions on the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in a new filing, repeating their previous arguments against gag orders.

The attorneys continued, comparing the request to the gag order Trump is under in a separate case in New York, adding, “Like Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Smith seeks to restrict President Trump’s campaign speech as the first presidential debate approaches at the end of this month.”

In late May, attorneys for Smith asked the judge presiding to “make clear” that Trump cannot “make statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”

The heart of their concern, prosecutors wrote, was Trump’s “false and inflammatory statements” when he claimed that FBI agents were ready to shoot him and that he “nearly escaped death” during the 2022 search of Mar-a-Lago.

The former president was in New York at the time.

Trump’s claims, based on the FBI’s plan for the search – which was provided to the defense in discovery – are entirely false, prosecutors wrote, adding that Trump has repeatedly and misleadingly criticized the FBI for having a policy in place around the use of deadly force during the search, as the bureau does with “countless” warrants that it executes.

The FBI and Attorney General Merrick Garland have both said the policy is normal and was also in place during the search of President Joe Biden’s Delaware residence during the investigation into his handling of classified information.

In the filing Friday, Trump’s attorneys said prosecutors have not submitted “any evidence of threats or harassment resulting from President Trump’s protected speech.”

“Not a single FBI agent who participated in the raid submitted an affidavit, or even an argument, claiming that President Trump’s remarks put them at risk,” his attorneys wrote.

Prosecutors’ original ask for a gag order was thrown out by Federal Judge Aileen Cannon, who determined that they had not fully conferred with Trump’s attorneys before filing the request.

Trump’s false claims “invite” threats and harassment against law enforcement agents involved in the case, prosecutors wrote, similar to those “that have occurred when other participants in legal proceedings against Trump have been targeted by his invective.”

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