As he continues to surge in both Republican primary and general election polling, former President Donald Trump has joked that should he return to the White House, Special Counsel Jack Smith and his colleagues at the Justice Department may require forced hospitalization due to the resulting mental distress, as NBC News reports.
Trump's take came in a recent post on his Truth Social platform, where his most controversial takes on the day's news tend to be found.
Earlier this month, Trump ventured online and took direct aim at Smith, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and former DOJ official Andrew Weissmann, labeling the group a “team of losers and misfits.”
Trump's complaints did not end there, as he also extended criticism to “all the rest of the Radical Left Zealots and Thugs who have been working illegally for years to 'take me down.'”
Expressing faux concern for the well-being of those he referenced, Trump suggested that they will find themselves “suffering from a horrible disease, TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME (TDS!), in a Mental Institution by the time my next term as President is successfully completed.”
The former president concluded his message with his familiar refrain, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.”
Smith, heavily involved in overseeing the federal cases against Trump related to alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House, has long been a target of the former president's online ire.
Trump's often-disparaging comments about Smith as well as a host of others involved in his prosecutions prompted the imposition of a gag order by Judge Tanya Chutkan in the election interference case, wherein she attempted to stop the former president from issuing statements about possible witnesses in the matter or about those responsible for arguing the government's side of the case.
Notably, however, a three-judge appeals panel put a temporary halt on the order earlier in November, something of which Trump has been taking full advantage by exercising his freedom to comment on the case in public.
Just last week, the panel convened to hear oral arguments related to the former president's request for the gag order to be permanently withdrawn.
At the hearing on the gag order's ultimate fate, judges on the panel were said to evince skepticism toward Trump's arguments, though no decision was immediately rendered, as Reuters explained.
Attorney D. John Sauer, fighting on Trump's behalf, contended that Chutkan's order is in violation of the former president's First Amendment rights.
One member of the panel, Judge Cornelia Pillard, however, pressed him on the possible impact his client's statements could have on the eventual integrity of the trial, saying, “I don't hear you giving any weight at all to the interests in a fair trial.”
Sauer, for his part, declared, “The order is unprecedented, and it sets a terrible precedent on future restrictions on core political speech,” but whether his position will prevail and free Trump to speak his mind on Smith, his colleagues, and potential witnesses going forward, only time will tell.