WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors in the case charging Donald Trump with scheming to overturn the 2020 presidential election are seeking an order that would restrict the former president from “inflammatory” and “intimidating” comments about witnesses, lawyers and the judge.
Special counsel Jack Smith’s team said in a motion filed Friday that such a “narrow, well-defined” order was necessary to preserve the integrity of the case and to avoid prejudicing potential jurors.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors in the case charging Donald Trump with scheming to overturn the 2020 presidential election are alleging that the former president has targeted individuals with threats, harassment and inflammatory statements, a judge said Friday.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan made the revelation in an order permitting special counsel Jack Smith’s team to file a redacted motion on the topic that will black out the names and identifying information of the individuals who say they have been targeted. An unredacted version will be filed under seal.
The Justice Department has also conducted interviews with unnamed individuals describing the threats and harassments they have received, though the transcripts of those interviews will remain sealed.
“The history of harassment and threats towards the individuals whose information has been redacted demonstrates the real likelihood that they could suffer further intimidation upon disclosure of their identities,” Chutkan wrote. “And the government’s proposed redactions are tailored to mitigate that risk, covering only those individuals’ identifying information in a handful of instances and the witness interview transcripts.”
The issue surfaced last week with the disclosure by the Justice Department that it sought to file a motion related to “daily” public statements by Trump that it said it feared would taint the jury pool.
Also Friday, Smith’s team pushed back against the Trump team request to have Chutkan recuse herself from the case. Defense lawyers had cited prior comments from Chutkan that they say cast doubt on her ability to be fair, but prosecutors responded that there was no valid basis for her to step aside.
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