Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith has asked Judge Tanya Chutkan to bar former President Donald Trump from publicly discussing potential witnesses or evidence in his federal election interference case in Washington, D.C., in a request for a “narrowly tailored” gag order—the latest instance of Trump’s campaign and public presence butting against his legal challenges.
In a court filing, Smith and his team pointed out that Trump has repeatedly attacked several potential witnesses publicly and made false statements they allege were designed to rile up his supporters, undermine the judicial system and prompt harassment of potential witnesses.
They argued that this “threatens to undermine the integrity of” the court’s proceedings and “prejudice the jury pool.”
The filing specifically points to a number of social media posts from Trump including a post in which he called Chutkan a “biased, Trump Hating Judge,”, another where he calls the case “A FILTHY AND CRIME RIDDEN EMBARRASSMENT TO OUR NATION” and finally one where he threatens, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’LL GO AFTER YOU.”
Smith requested a gag order that would restrict Trump from making public statements that could “present a serious and substantial danger of prejudicing” the jury, the proceedings or the case as a whole.
Forbes has reached out to Trump’s team for comment.
In August, Smith, who was specially assigned to the case in an effort to avoid a conflict of interest with the Biden Administration, charged Trump with four federal crimes related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump pleaded not guilty. All four charges could lead to prison time if convicted. Smith is arguing Trump and his co-conspirators illegally attempted to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to illegally prevent Congress from certifying the election results, attempted to use a pool of fake electors to disrupt the certification of the election, pressured state officials to overturn election results, pressured his own Department of Justice to falsely claim it had found evidence of voter fraud and attempted to take advantage of the chaos that ensued after a riot broke out at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
This case is one of several criminal cases Trump faces. Trump has been criminally indicted three other times: Georgia prosecutors have brought similar charges against him for allegedly trying to overturn the election at the state level, while he also faces dozens of charges in Miami federal court for his alleged mishandling of classified documents he took from the White House and he was charged by New York prosecutors for allegedly falsifying business records to pay hush money to a porn star. He is the first president to ever be indicted on criminal charges.
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