Jack Smith Requests Gag Order On Trump

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Special counsel Jack Smith requested a gag order Friday against former President Donald Trump regarding his case involving the alleged mishandling of classified documents, according to a court filing.

Smith filed the request Friday evening, asking presiding Judge Aileen Cannon to modify Trump’s “conditions of release,” seeking that it makes clear “he may not make statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case.” (RELATED: ‘Calm Down’: Judge In Trump Documents Case Reprimands Prosecutor On Jack Smith’s Team)

“The law enforcement agents participating in this case conducted the search in an appropriate and professional manner, subject to the Department of Justice’s standard use-of-force policy. Trump’s repeated mischaracterization of these facts in widely distributed messages as an attempt to kill him, his family, and Secret Service agents has endangered law enforcement officers involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case and threatened the integrity of these proceedings,” the filing stated.

Smith, Trump Court Filing by hailey on Scribd

“A restriction prohibiting future similar statements does not restrict legitimate speech. Trump’s conditions of release should therefore be modified to prohibit similar communications going forward.”

Smith’s request comes shortly after court documents were released regarding the language used within the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) authorization of their raid at Mar-A-Lago in August 2022, according to Fox News. As part of the special counsel’s investigation, the FBI’s “Operations Order” showed the FBI “believed its objective for the Mar-a-Lago raid was to seize ‘classified information, NDI, and US Government records,'” court documents stated.

The “Deadly Force” language used in the operation’s “Policy Statement” noting how “Law Enforcement officers of the Department of Justice may use deadly force when necessary” garnered criticism from some observers. The FBI stated, however, they were following “standard” protocols for the raid at Trump’s private home, according to a statement given to Fox News.

“The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force. No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter,” the FBI told the outlet.

“The standard deadly force policy statement included in the operations order for the search of the former president’s residence was also included in the operations order for the search of the sitting president’s residence in Delaware, as is standard practice for all FBI operations orders.”

Following the release of the information, Trump vocalized his criticism of the “deadly force” term use, claiming on Truth Social that President Joe Biden is a “serious threat to democracy.” Additionally, through a fundraising email distributed Wednesday, the former president claimed Biden was “locked & loaded and ready to take me out,” according to The Hill.

“WOW! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the ‘Icebox,’ and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their Illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE,” Trump’s Truth Social post read. “NOW WE KNOW, FOR SURE, THAT JOE BIDEN IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY. HE IS MENTALLY UNFIT TO HOLD OFFICE — 25TH AMENDMENT!”

Smith’s filing cites several statements made by Trump in relation to the language of the raid’s court filing. Smith claimed “intentionally false and inflammatory” statements were used to “distort the circumstances under which the Federal Bureau of Investigation planned and executed the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.”

“Those 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 filing states.

The FBI filing used language mirroring that included in a January 2023 search warrant for classified documents in Biden’s Delaware residence, according to Fox News. Documents show authorities had “planned to bring ‘Standard Issue Weapons,’ ‘Ammo,’ ‘Handcuffs,’ and ‘medium and large sized bolt cutters,’ but they were instructed to wear ‘unmarked polo or collared shirts’ and to keep ‘law enforcement equipment concealed,'” according to the outlet.

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung called out Smith in a statement Friday evening, noting the “repeated attempts to silence” the former president as he had already been placed under a gag order in his New York case regarding alleged falsified business records.

“Crooked Joe Biden and his hacks and thugs are obsessed with trying to deprive President Trump and all American voters of their First Amendment rights. Repeated attempts to silence President Trump during the presidential campaign are blatant attempts to interfere in the election. They are last ditch efforts of desperate Democrat radicals running a losing campaign for a failed president,” Cheung stated.

Smith charged Trump with 37 felony counts last year, claiming there was willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements, Fox News reported.

The former president has pleaded not guilty.