(UnitedVoice.com) – In August, Special Counsel Jack Smith announced that a federal grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump. He pleaded not guilty to four counts related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election and has maintained his innocence. He has also vocally spoken out about the charges and used his platform to attack those involved in the case.
Prosecutors are now asking a federal judge to put a gag order in place. The former president’s legal team has fired back with a First Amendment argument.
Gag Order Request
On September 15, Smith filed a motion in the US District Court for the District of Columbia to have a gag order put in place. The filing accused Trump of threatening to “undermine the integrity” of the court proceedings and “prejudice the jury pool” with his social media posts and speeches attacking the parties involved.
The filing argued that Trump has “repeatedly and widely” made attacks on DC residents, prosecutors, and witnesses. The special counsel wants the judge to issue a “narrowly tailored” gag order to prevent the former president from attacking people connected to the case.
If the judge approves the request, it would prevent Trump from making “statements about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors” that could be seen as intimidating or inflammatory. It would also prevent him from speaking out about anything related to the “identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses” of those involved in the case. He would still be allowed to proclaim his innocence and quote material from the publicly released court records.
Trump Team Responds
Trump’s attorneys responded in a September 25 filing. They claimed the grand jury’s indictment “read very much like a campaign press release” and accused the special counsel of attacking the former POTUS. The defense argued the prosecutor is now asking the court to strip “Trump of his First Amendment freedoms during the most important months of his campaign against President [Joe] Biden.”
Trump’s defense attorneys claim prosecutors want to “unconstitutionally silence” the former president, but aren’t trying to silence Biden. The 46th president has not commented on the case yet.
The defense team also slammed the special counsel for not providing evidence to prove the allegations made about Trump intimidating witnesses and DC residents. Attorney Gregory M. Singer called on Judge Tanya S. Chutkan to “reject this transparent gamesmanship.”
Chutkan previously told the former president that she would take measures to ensure the integrity of the case is not compromised. It’s unclear when the judge will make a ruling. Trump is scheduled to go to trial in March 2024.
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