Special Counsel Seeks Gag Order on Trump in Election Interference Case
Special counsel Jack Smith has requested a limited gag order from a federal judge in response to concerns over threats
Special counsel Jack Smith has requested a limited gag order from a federal judge in response to concerns over threats made against individuals targeted by former President Donald Trump. The proposed order aims to restrict Trump, a 2024 presidential candidate, from making certain extrajudicial statements related to the election interference case brought against him.
A redacted version of the government’s filing, released on Friday following a court order, pertains to the election interference case, one of the four criminal cases currently facing the former president, including two at the federal level.
The special counsel’s office highlighted Trump’s history of issuing inflammatory public statements, often directed at individuals or institutions perceived as obstacles or challenges to him. The government emphasized that Trump’s intent to issue public attacks regarding the case became evident when, shortly after his arraignment, he posted a threatening message on Truth Social on August 4. The post stated, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”
The government argued that Trump has followed through on this threat, consistently posting disparaging and inflammatory remarks on Truth Social concerning citizens of the District of Columbia, the court, prosecutors, and potential witnesses. These extrajudicial statements, akin to his prior disinformation campaign regarding the 2020 presidential election, are designed to erode public confidence in the judicial system and intimidate individuals involved in the case, including the court, jury pool, witnesses, and prosecutors.
In response to the government’s filing, Trump criticized the special counsel at an event in Washington, asserting that Smith “wants to take away my rights under the First Amendment, wants to take away my right of speaking freely and openly.”
Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, characterized the filing as “blatant election interference,” suggesting that it was motivated by Trump’s status as the leading candidate in the 2024 race.