Trump's lawyers urge judge to reject special counsel's request for gag order in classified docs case


Donald Trump’s lawyers on Friday hit back at special counsel Jack Smith in the classified documents case by opposing his request to bar the former president from making any statements that prosecutors say endanger law enforcement involved in the investigation.

In a 20-page filing, defense attorneys argued that Smith “seeks to restrict President Trump’s campaign speech” ahead of the first debate with President Joe Biden later this month.

Smith’s team asked U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in May to modify Trump’s conditions of release in the case, citing Trump’s false claims about FBI agents being prepared to kill him during the search at Mar-a-Lago for classified documents. Prosecutors said such statements have “endangered law enforcement officers involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”

Trump’s lawyers argued that Smith’s request should be denied on the basis of “the ambiguities, lack of enforcement criteria, and resulting chilling effect.” They also called it “a naked effort to impose totalitarian censorship of core political speech.”

The defense said that “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.”

The FBI has said that the deadly force authorization that Trump appeared to be referencing in his earlier remarks was standard language designed to limit the use of force.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in the classified documents case. The trial has been indefinitely postponed.

Cannon has scheduled a June 24 hearing on the gag order request. There is no set timeline for when she may rule on the competing filings.

Trump’s lawyers on Friday made many of the same arguments they’ve used in fighting gag orders for criminal cases in New York and Washington D.C., including a focus on First Amendment protections, what they deemed ambiguous language in prosecutors’ proposed gag orders and a lack of evidence of actual threats stemming from Trump’s statements.

The filing comes the same week that Trump’s lawyers asked a New York court to terminate the gag order that was imposed against the former president during the hush money trial where Trump was later found guilty on 34 felony counts.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top