OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:51 AM – Saturday, September 16, 2023
Special Council Jack Smith has asked a federal judge to impose a “narrowly tailored” gag order against former President Donald Trump.
On Friday, Smith’s office issued a filing that requested a federal judge in Washington D.C. to inflict a “narrowly tailored” order limiting the 45th president from making public statements that could “present a serious and substantial danger of material prejudicing this case.”
The special counsel’s office accused Trump of engaging in a sweeping campaign of “disinformation” and harassment aimed at intimidating witnesses, prosecutors, and others engaged in the prosecution he is currently facing.
“In service of his criminal conspiracies, through false public statements, the defendant sought to erode public faith in the administration of the election and intimidate individuals who refuted his lies,” the filing said. “The defendant is now attempting to do the same thing in this criminal case — to undermine confidence in the criminal justice system and prejudice the jury pool through disparaging and inflammatory attacks on the citizens of this District, the Court, prosecutors, and prospective witnesses.”
The former president has pleaded not guilty to the charges of “undertaking a criminal scheme to overturn the 2020 election.”
Prosecutors say their proposed order to D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan would be “a narrow, well-defined restriction” prohibiting Trump from making statements “regarding the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses” as well as “statements about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors that are disparaging and inflammatory, or intimidating.”
However, the order would not forbid the 2024 GOP front-runner from quoting public records or making any declarations of his innocence.
Trump Campaign Spokesperson Steven Cheung, responded to Smith’s request and said the DOJ was “corruptly and cynically continuing to attempt to deprive President Trump of his First Amendment rights.”
“The American people — the voters — see right through this un-Constitutional charade and will send President Trump back to the White House,” he said.
Trump himself also responded to the proposal on his own social media platform Truth Social where he stated that “They leak, lie, and sue, and won’t allow [him] to speak.”
Trump also made his public remarks during a speech and argued that “Deranged Jack Smith, he’s the prosecutor, wants to take away my rights under the First Amendment, wants to take away my right to speak freely and openly. Never forget our enemies want to stop us because we are the only ones who can stop them.”
The timing of Judge Chutkan’s decision on the government’s motion is still unknown. However, she has given Trump’s legal team until September 25th to respond to their motion, and the government until September 30th to answer.
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