Judge Aileen Cannon blocks amicus brief by Republican AGs in documents case

By 
 June 18, 2024

Late last month, Judge Aileen Cannon rejected a request from Special Counsel Jack Smith to impose a gag order on former President Donald Trump in his classified document's case.

That hasn't stopped Smith from putting forward another request, which has prompted opposition from Republicans. Yet in a surprising move, Cannon just threw out their request to file an amicus brief. 

GOP attorneys general from 24 states attempt to file motion

According to Newsweek, Cannon's move came in the form of a court document which the federal judge put out on Monday.

"PAPERLESS ORDER denying 623 Motion for Leave to File Brief as Amicus Curiae in Opposition to Special Counsel's Motion to Modify Conditions of Release 592. Signed by Judge Aileen M. Cannon on 6/17/2024," it read.

That came in the wake of a motion filed this past weekend by the Republican attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

"Free and fair elections in the United States depend on candidates' ability to speak about important issues of the day," the GOP officials declared.

AGs says gag order against Trump will harm voters

"Attempts to stop a candidate from speaking out harm more than just the candidate. They also hurt the voters, who are denied access to crucial information, and the States, which are responsible for managing elections," they added.

"And when agents of one candidate seek a court order to muzzle discussion on matters relating to important electoral issues, that restraint raises even more fundamental First Amendment concerns," the attorneys general declared.

Newsweek noted that Smith's original call for a gag order came following the revelation that FBI agents were authorized to use deadly force during their raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

For his part, Trump reacted with a social media post in which he complained that federal agents came "locked [and] loaded ready to take me out [and] put my family in danger."

Trump's attorneys say Smith is trying to block campaign speech

Smith argued that Trump's statements "create a grossly misleading impression about the intentions and conduct of federal law enforcement agents—falsely suggesting that they were complicit in a plot to assassinate him—and expose those agents, some of whom will be witnesses at trial, to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment."

The special counsel has since put forward another effort at getting Trump gagged, something which the president's lawyers opposed in a motion this past Friday.

Newsweek quoted them as alleging that Smith "seeks to restrict President Donald Trump's campaign speech as the first presidential debate approaches at the end of this month."

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