Smith makes new plea for gag order in classified docs case day after Trump conviction

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Special counsel Jack Smith filed a new motion Friday asking the judge overseeing former President Trump’s classified documents case to block him from making public statements that could put law enforcement in danger.

His latest request mirrors his first, filed last week, pressing Judge Aileen Cannon to issue a narrow gag order based on the former president’s false claims that the Biden administration was prepared to use deadly force on him when searching for classified records at his Mar-a-Lago resort in 2022.

It also comes just a day after Trump was convicted in his New York hush money trial, making him the first former president with a felony.

“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 this case and threatened the integrity of these proceedings,” the filing states. “A restriction prohibiting future similar statements does not restrict legitimate speech. Trump’s conditions of release should therefore be modified to prohibit similar communications going forward.”

In a fundraising email earlier this month, Trump claimed President Biden was “locked & loaded and ready to take me out.” The remarks were a twist on standard language in documents prepared as the FBI agents were readying to search the Florida resort.

In reality, it only allows for deadly force “when necessary,” like if someone were to pose an imminent danger to the officer. And, as Smith’s filing points out, the search was purposefully completed while Trump and his family were out of town.

“The FBI followed these entirely standard and appropriate practices here,” Smith wrote. “Trump, however, has grossly distorted these standard practices by mischaracterizing them as a plan to kill him, his family, and U.S. Secret Service agents.”

“Those deceptive and inflammatory assertions irresponsibly put a target on the backs of the FBI agents involved in this case, as Trump well knows,” he added.

Cannon, who has indefinitely postponed a trial in the case citing logistical reasons, denied Smith’s first request earlier this week. She chastised the prosecutors in the case for failing to reach out to former President Trump’s attorneys on the motion to limit his speech.

She likewise denied a motion from Trump’s legal team seeking to censure the prosecutors over the matter.

In Friday’s filing, Smith included certification that prosecutors had spoken with the defense.

Government counsel have conferred in a good faith effort to resolve the issues raised in the motion, but were unable to do so. Counsel for defendant Trump agreed that no further conferral was necessary,” he wrote.

The court documents include a statement from the former president’s legal team saying they reject the motion, calling it a “blatant violation of the First Amendment rights.”

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