Federal prosecutors are taking unprecedented steps to curb the rhetoric of former President Donald Trump.
According to a report by The Journal on Saturday, September 16, 2023, this move comes as special counsel Jack Smith’s team seeks an order that would restrict Trump from making what they deem as “inflammatory” and “intimidating” comments about witnesses, lawyers, and the presiding judge in the case charging him with scheming to overturn the 2020 US presidential election.
In a motion filed on Friday, Smith’s team argued that a “narrow, well-defined” order is imperative to protect the integrity of the case and prevent any prejudicing of potential jurors.
They contend that since the indictment was returned by a grand jury, Trump has been unrelenting in disseminating public statements that target various parties involved in the case, including the citizens of the District of Columbia, the Court, prosecutors, and prospective witnesses.
The prosecutors contend that Trump’s actions echo his previous attacks on the 2020 election, where he falsely claimed victory.
They argue that he is now attempting to undermine confidence in the criminal justice system and poison the jury pool by launching disparaging and inflammatory attacks.
One such instance cited in the motion is a post on Trump’s Truth Social platform shortly after his indictment, where he declared in capital letters.
“If you go after me, I’m coming after you!” He has consistently alleged on social media that the case against him is “rigged” and has cast doubt on the possibility of a fair trial.
Furthermore, Trump has resorted to personal attacks on the prosecutors, referring to Jack Smith as “deranged” and his team as “thugs.”
Even the judge presiding over the case, Tanya Chutkan, has not been spared from Trump’s vitriol.
In response to these developments, a spokesperson for Donald Trump released a statement accusing prosecutors of attempting to infringe on the former president’s First Amendment rights.
The spokesperson labeled this legal action as “blatant election interference” and expressed confidence that the American people would see through what they described as an “unconstitutional charade.”
This contentious issue surfaced when the US Justice Department disclosed its intention to file a motion related to Trump’s “daily” public statements, which they believed could taint the jury pool.
On Friday, Judge Chutkan granted permission to prosecutors to file a redacted motion publicly, with names and identifying information of individuals who claim to have been harassed due to Trump’s attacks redacted.
Notably, Smith’s team vigorously opposed the Trump defense’s request to have Judge Chutkan recuse herself from the case.
The defense had cited prior comments from Chutkan that they argued cast doubt on her ability to be impartial.
In response, prosecutors maintained that there was no valid basis for her to step aside.
The case against Donald Trump remains a focal point of national attention, with legal battles extending beyond the courtroom and into the realm of public discourse.
As both sides clash over issues of free speech, the preservation of the judicial process, and the fate of the former president, the nation watches with bated breath for the next chapter in this historic legal saga.