Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 18, 2024

Trump Lawyers Ask Judge to Reject Gag Order in Smith’s Case

Former President Donald Trump's legal team is urging U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to dismiss a request for a gag order filed by special counsel Jack Smith.

As reported by The Epoch Times, Trump's attorneys argue that the proposed restrictions would violate free speech and constitute judicial overreach.

On June 14, Trump's attorneys filed their opposition to the gag order request in the Florida court overseeing his classified documents case. His legal team described Smith's motion as “unconstitutional” and lacking in evidence. They contended that Trump’s public remarks had not led to threats or harassment, a claim they say prosecutors failed to substantiate.

Prosecutors Warn About Potential Threats

Prosecutors assert that Trump’s comments about the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago resort could incite violence against law enforcement and intimidate prospective jurors. They cited Trump’s inflammatory social media and fundraising communications as potentially dangerous.

Trump’s attorneys, however, believe the gag order would stifle the former president's fundamental political speech. They argued that the request's ambiguities and enforcement issues create a “chilling effect” on free speech.

FBI officials stated that they followed standard protocols during the August 2022 Mar-a-Lago search, contrary to Trump’s claims of excessive measures. An FBI spokesperson confirmed that there was no deviation from standard policies. Trump's comments to the contrary were part of the government’s case for a gag order, alleging such statements could incite violence.

Trump Denounces Legal Actions As Politically Motivated

Federal prosecutors, represented by Jay Bratt and David Harbach, listed several of Trump’s public posts and emails containing allegations against law enforcement. These claims, according to the prosecution, suggest that federal officials were "authorized to shoot" or were "locked & loaded," which allegedly compromises safety.

A hearing is scheduled for June 24, during which Judge Cannon will consider the gag order request. Trump’s attorneys emphasize that their client's right to free speech, especially regarding political matters, must be preserved.

The defense argued recent remarks by Trump have not incited FBI agents who conducted the Mar-a-Lago search. They added that the lack of affidavits or arguments from these agents further suggests his speech did not pose a credible threat.

Trump's Attorneys Describe Gag Order as Overreach

In their brief, Trump’s attorneys insisted that the gag order's “ambiguities” and lack of clear enforcement criteria would impair Trump’s rights. They argued the order could hinder his ability to engage in “core political speech.”

The filing noted that the request for a gag order had been previously denied by Judge Cannon in May. Federal prosecutors quickly renewed their efforts, stressing the potential risk posed by Trump's public commentary.

Judge Cannon’s indefinite postponement of Trump’s trial adds further uncertainty to the legal proceedings. The court has not yet set a public trial date. Trump's legal battle continues to unfold, with significant scrutiny from both sides of the political aisle.

In summary, Donald Trump's legal battle over classified documents has been marked by disputes over free speech and safety concerns for law enforcement. Judge Cannon is set to rule on a contentious gag order request.

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