Jack Smith asks judge to further limit Trump's public statements in documents case

By Sarah May on
 May 26, 2024

The classified documents battle between former President Donald Trump and special counsel Jack Smith is heating up anew, with fresh accusations flying between both parties in recent days and a prosecution request that the judge in the case restrict the defendant's speech.

Smith on Friday asked Judge Aileen Cannon to stop Trump from commenting publicly in a manner he says is posing a threat to law enforcement officers, doing so in the wake of statements from the former president that one of his critics said were akin to the proclamations of a “mob boss,” as Raw Story reports.

Background of latest controversy

The special counsel's request came in the wake of Trump's online response to recently unsealed court filings pertaining to the 2022 raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate.

As Fox News reported, the FBI was authorized to use deadly force in the search of Trump's home, and though the Justice Department has since claimed that the operation was conducted according to standard operating procedures identical to those used in a search of Joe Biden's home, the former president was unconvinced.

Trump took to his Truth Social platform last week and declared that the Biden DOJ “AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE” in the search of his estate, as NBC News noted.

A Trump campaign fundraising email also stated that the administration was “locked & loaded ready to take me out” when agents descended on his home.

Smith's request

In response, Smith is seeking an order blocking Trump from making any further statements he said present “a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents” involved in the case.

Smith's team said in its filing that the agents present during the search conducted themselves “in an appropriate and professional manner, subject to the Department of Justice's standard use-of-force policy” and decried what they believed to be Trump's dangerous statements.

“Trump's repeated mischaracterization of these facts in widely distributed messages as an attempt to kill him, his family, and Secret Service agents has endangered law enforcement officers involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case and threatened the integrity of these proceedings,” the filing explained.

The prosecutors went on, “A restriction prohibiting future similar statements should therefore be modified to prohibit similar communications going forward.”

Trump stands firm

Unsurprisingly, Trump did not take kindly to Smith's latest attempt to silence him, writing, “Gag Orders have a very strong tendency to BACKFIRE.”

He went on, “If anybody should be GAGGED, it should be Deranged Jack, who was recently caught doing very bad things -- and I should be able to talk about that, and everything else having to do with this Hoax -- from which Crooked Joe Biden was FULLY EXONERATED!”

Frequent Trump critic and former prosecutor Ron Filipkowski slammed the former president's statement, saying on Saturday, “Trump makes another one of his Mob Boss threats/innuendos towards Jack Smith.”

Whether Cannon sides with Smith in putting a stop to further commentary from Trump on this particular issue, however, only time will tell.

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