In August, Smith asked for a gag order against Trump in the case he brought against him in Florida after the Department of Justice instructed the FBI to raid his Mar-a-Lago home and seize his personal documents. They claim that Trump should not be permitted to speak about "sensitive and confidential information" as it would have a "harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case."
In a Friday filing, Smith asked a federal judge to impose a "narrowly tailored" gag order to stop Trump from making statements that Smith and his team feel could harm their case. Smith claims that the statements he wishes to prevent Trump from making could "present a serious and substantial danger of prejudicing" the case Smith brought stemming from the aftermath of the hotly contested 2020 presidential election.
Smith asked DC Judge Chutkan to impose "a narrow, well-defined restriction" to stop Trump from speaking "regarding the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses" or "statements about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors that are disparaging and inflammatory, or intimidating."
Smith says this would not stop Trump from publicly proclaiming that he is innocent of the charges levied against him by the justice department of his top political rival. As such, if Chutkan allows the gag order to go forward, Trump would likley contend that his first amendment rights are being violated by it.
In trying to get Chutkan to go along with the order, the motion cites times when Trump has taken aim at her personally, such as when he suggested that Chutkan is "a fraud dressed up as a judge" or "a radical Obama hack." Smith also doesn't like when Trump has made comments about his former vice president Mike Pence, or former attorney general Bill Barr, and they want the judge to put a stop to it.
Trump responded to the motion, saying that Smith was lying and deranged while Joe Biden is incompetent. This is likely exactly the type of speech Smith wants Trump to be prevented from making.
Chutkan has presided over many cases involving January 6 defendants and has frequently imposed harsher sentences than those recommended by the Department of Justice.
"The defendant knows that when he publicly attacks individuals and institutions, he inspires others to perpetrate threats and harassment against his targets," the motion from Smith's team states. "The defendant continues these attacks on individuals precisely because he knows that in doing so, he is able to roil the public and marshal and prompt his supporters."
In asking for the judge to silence Trump, Smith stated that Trump had waged a "public disinformation campaign" after the 2020 presidential election, which is what Smith is charging Trump with. Trump has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
"Like his previous public disinformation campaign regarding the 2020 presidential election," Smith contends, "the defendant's recent extrajudicial statements are intended to undermine public confidence in an institution—the judicial system—and to undermine confidence in and intimidate individuals—the Court, the jury pool, witnesses, and prosecutors."
"The defendant's repeated, inflammatory public statements regarding the District of Columbia, the Court, prosecutors, and potential witnesses are substantially likely to materially prejudice the jury pool, create fear among potential jurors, and result in threats or harassment to individuals he singles out," the motion reads.
"Put simply, those involved in the criminal justice process who read and hear the defendant's disparaging and inflammatory messages (from court personnel, to prosecutors, to witnesses, to potential jurors) may reasonably fear that they could be the next targets of the defendant's attacks."
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