Judge rejects request for gag order in Trump's documents case

 May 28, 2024

Late last week, Special Counsel Jack Smith asked that Judge Aileen Cannon put a gag order on former President Donald Trump in his classified documents case.

In yet another legal blow, the judge responded to Smith's request on Tuesday by quickly shutting it down.

Gag order request tied to 2022 raid

At issue are revelations that FBI agents were authorized to use deadly force when carrying out their raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in 2022.

Fox News noted that Trump touted the discovery last week, citing it as evidence that "Joe Biden is a serious threat to democracy."

Karoline Leavitt serves as the Trump campaign's national press secretary and she conveyed a similar message, telling Fox News that Biden "is the most corrupt president in history."

CNN reported that Smith's office reacted with a brief on Friday which sought to have Cannon prevent Trump from making additional comments about the raid.

Trump sought sanctions for those who wrote request

According to the network, Trump's defense attorneys hit back on Monday by labeling the request as an "extraordinary, unprecedented, and unconstitutional censorship application."

Their brief alleged that the special counsel "improperly asks the Court to impose an unconstitutional gag order on President Trump."

It further complained that the request was "based on vague and unsupported assertions about threats to law enforcement personnel whose names have been redacted from public filings and whose identities are already subject to a protective order."

What's more, the former president's lawyers went further by asking that Cannon impose sanctions on "all government attorneys who participated in the decision to file the Motion."

Judge says gag order request was "wholly lacking in substance"

While Cannon did not impose sanctions on Smith's staff, CNN reported that the federal judge did reject his gag order request.

Cannon decried the request as "wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy" while complaining that the special counsel's office had failed to confer with Trump's lawyers.

"Because the filing of the Special Counsel’s Motion did not adhere to these basic requirements, it is due to be denied without prejudice," she wrote. The judge then went on to stress how "it should go without saying that meaningful conferral is not a perfunctory exercise."

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