Special Counsel Smith files 3rd brief urging judge to silence Trump's criticism of the FBI with a gag order

 June 23, 2024

A growing portion of the American people have become increasingly sick and tired of the overtly politicized prosecutions against former President Donald Trump and the way in which those partisan prosecutors have weaponized legal procedures and the judicial system to hinder the presumptive Republican nominee.

Special Counsel Jack Smith apparently has not received that message, as he continues to urge the court to silence Trump's free speech about the FBI and law enforcement with a gag order in the federal classified documents case, according to a CNN report.

Smith on Friday reiterated his request to limit Trump's First Amendment rights ahead of a hearing scheduled for Monday to address the issue that was first raised nearly a month ago in late May.

Smith wants to limit Trump's criticisms of the FBI and law enforcement

It was on the evening of Friday, May 24, just before the long Memorial Day weekend, that Special Counsel Smith's office filed a motion that urged presiding Judge Aileen Cannon to modify the conditions of former President Trump's release in terms of limiting his freedom of speech.

At issue were Trump's allegedly "intentionally false and inflammatory statements" about the FBI's use of lethal force policy that was included in the search warrant that authorized the August 2022 raid of his Mar-a-Lago resort, which the special counsel asserted posed a "significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case."

Trump's attorneys responded with vehement objections a few days later with a motion to strike the special counsel's request in part because of its allegedly unconstitutional infringement on his First Amendment rights but also because of the duplicitous and secretive manner in which that request was raised without prior discussion ahead of a holiday weekend.

Request for a gag order reiterated

A few days after that initial altercation, Special Counsel Smith's office again filed on May 31 a request for a gag order to limit former President Trump's speech about the FBI and law enforcement more generally.

That filing accused Trump of creating 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."

Approximately two weeks later, Trump's attorneys responded again with a memorandum of opposition to Smith's request that once more objected to the proposed gag order as a "shocking display" of the special counsel's "overreach and disregard for the Constitution," not to mention how such limitations on Trump's speech would interfere with the impending 2024 election by hindering the leading candidate's ability to speak freely to voters.

Smith triples down on demand for Trump to be silenced

Fast-forward another week to June 21, to Special Counsel Smith's now-third filing in support of the request to modify former President Trump's conditions of release with a gag order to silence his speech about the FBI and law enforcement.

Referencing Trump's hyperbole about the FBI's use of force policy for the Mar-a-Lago raid and the potential dangers posed to him and his family, Smith asserted, "Trump knew that this was false, and he intended that his comments would inflame his listeners; indeed, that was the whole purpose," and reiterated the claim that Trump's supporters would be spurred by his words to engage in threats and actual violence against law enforcement, with a couple of supposed examples provided as evidence.

As to Trump's claim that a gag order would hinder his campaign and political speech, Smith's filing said, "The Government has absolutely no interest in those matters. None. Indeed, Trump has released a torrent of criticisms of the Biden Administration and the Department of Justice, and the Government has made no motion to this Court to limit or address such comments in any way. Trump is welcome to make such comments to his heart’s content -- they are simply not the Government’s concern."

"While Trump boastfully acknowledges the impact that his words have on his listeners, he will just as predictably decline any responsibility for their actions should any further violence take place. Neither the Government nor the Court has that luxury," Smith's filing stated.

As CNN noted, Judge Cannon will hold a hearing on Monday to discuss Smith's requested gag order on Trump, and it remains to be seen if she is as disgusted with the partisan efforts to silence the presumptive GOP nominee as a substantial cohort of the American people has become.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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