Jack Smith seeks gag order against Trump

 September 17, 2023

Special counsel Jack Smith has asked a judge to issue a gag order against former President Donald Trump, Politico reports

A gag order, as the term suggests, would stop Trump from saying certain things about certain people. It is a temporary restriction on one's First Amendment free speech rights.

Smith has brought two criminal cases against Trump. Smith requested the gag order in the case that he has brought against Trump in Washington, D.C., regarding the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

It turns out that Smith made the gag order request over a week ago. It was not made public, however, until this past Friday. You can read the motion for yourself here.

Smith's motion

In his motion, Smith makes an argument for why Trump's First Amendment free speech rights out to be restricted.

"The defendant’s past conduct, including conduct that has taken place after and as a direct result of the indictment in this case, amply demonstrates the need for this order," Smith wrote.

In the remainder of the motion, Smith cites conduct by Trump that Smith claims supports the gag order.

Smith, for example, referred to Trump's post-indictment social media post, which read, "If you go after me, I'm coming after you."

Smith claimed:

Like his previous public disinformation campaign regarding the 2020 presidential election, the defendant’s recent extrajudicial statements are intended to undermine public confidence in an institution—the judicial system—and to undermine confidence in and intimidate individuals—the Court, the jury pool, witnesses, and prosecutors.

Special circumstances

In response to the filing, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung put out a statement calling it "nothing more than blatant election interference because President Trump is by far the leading candidate in this race."

This highlights an important point about this particular situation, namely, if the judge were to issue a gag order it may stop Trump from being able to campaign for 2024.

Trump has claimed, repeatedly, that Smith and the others who are prosecuting him are running election interference for President Joe Biden, that they are trying to derail Trump's 2024 campaign. A gag order would be certain to have this effect.

The bad news for Trump is that the case is being overseen by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, whose anti-Trump bias has been well-documented. Still, it remains to be seen whether Chutkan will grant the gag order.

There are several other important motions before Chutkan as well, including a motion from Trump to disqualify Chutkan from the case.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.