Jack Smith Urges Judge To Maintain Trump Gag Order: ‘Significant And Immediate Risk’

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Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office told a federal judge Wednesday that the gag order she issued against former President Donald Trump in his 2020 election case is necessary to ensure a trial “untainted by harassment, intimidation, and threats.”

District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan temporarily paused the gag order she issued barring Trump from making public statements targeting Smith or his staff, court staff and witnesses or the substance of their testimony last week while considering his request for a longer stay on the order pending appeal. In a 32-page Wednesday night court filing, prosecutors asked Chutkan to maintain the order, alleging that Trump will “continue to threaten the integrity of these proceedings and put trial participants at risk” without court intervention.

“The defendant knows the effect of his targeting and seeks to use it to his strategic advantage while simultaneously disclaiming any responsibility for the very acts he causes,” prosecutors argued. (RELATED: ACLU Backs Trump In Fight Over Judge’s Gag Order)

Prosecutors said Trump, those he targets and his “over 100 million followers” understand the intent of his speech. Trump’s targeting creates a “significant and immediate risk” that witnesses will be intimidated or influenced and that “attorneys, public servants, and other court staff will themselves become targets for threats and harassment,” prosecutors alleged.

They cite his “repeated violations of a similar order in New York,” as well as posts made this week after Chutkan temporarily suspended the order, including a comment Trump made about former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and his potential testimony in the case.

“Some people would make that deal, but they are weaklings and cowards, and so bad for the future our Failing Nation,” Trump wrote on Truth Social Tuesday. “I don’t think that Mark Meadows is one of them, but who really knows?”

Trump “capitalized on the Court’s administrative stay to, among other prejudicial conduct, send an unmistakable and threatening message to a foreseeable witness in this case,” prosecutors wrote.

The American Civil Liberties Union backed Trump in his fight against the gag order Wednesday, writing in an amicus brief filed with the court that it is “unconstitutionally vague” and encompasses speech that could be relevant to Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

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