Trump lawyers rebut Jack Smith’s bid to muzzle Trump

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump claimed Monday evening that special counsel Jack Smith’s bid to restrict their client’s ability to release evidence in his criminal case surrounding the 2020 election represented an unlawful restriction of his free speech rights.

Smith’s prosecutors moved Friday for US District Judge Tanya Chutkan to issue the so-called “protective order,” saying it was needed “to produce a substantial amount of discovery to the defendant … much of which includes sensitive and confidential information.”

The prosecution proposal would have forbidden Trump, 77, or his attorneys from from disclosing evidentiary materials provided by the government to anyone other than people on his legal team, possible witnesses, the witnesses’ lawyers or others approved by the court. It also would only permit the 45th president to be shown documents deemed “sensitive,” such as grand jury testimony — rather than be given them to keep.

Trump attorney John Lauro responded to the prosecution motion minutes before the 5 p.m. Monday deadline, calling the request “contrary to established law and President Trump’s First Amendment rights.”

Donald Trump
Donald Trump has been outspoken about what he calls the legal ‘witch hunt’ against him.

“The government requests the Court assume the role of censor and impose content-based regulations on President Trump’s political speech that would forbid him from publicly discussing or disclosing all non-public documents produced by the government,” he argued.

Under Lauro’s so-called “redline” proposal, he argued the judge should “shield only genuinely sensitive material from public view.”

“[T]the need to protect that information,” the attorney wrote, “does not require a blanket gag order over all documents produced by the government.”

Jack Smith
Jack Smith is leading the DOJ’s two indictments against Donald Trump for the 2020 election schemes and classified document ordeal.

A protective order differs from a gag order in that it covers information shared during discovery, whereas a gag order pertains to discussions about a case outside a courtroom.

In their motion for a protective order, Smith’s team cited a Truth Social post from Friday in which Trump wrote in all caps: “If you go after me, I’m coming after you.”

“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” prosecutor Molly Gaston claimed in the Friday filing.

Joe Biden
President Biden has largely been mum on the indictments of his predecessor.

“First, the post does not contain or reference sensitive information of any kind. Rather, it is generalized political speech, not directed to this case,” Lauro responded.

Trump’s team had sought additional time to respond, which was quickly spurned by Judge Chutkan.

“Despite the extraordinarily limited time President Trump had to prepare this response, we attempted to confer with the government in good faith over the weekend by sending our proposed revisions and arranging multiple phone calls,” Lauro wrote.

“Unfortunately, the government declined a cooperative approach, refusing to provide any real-time feedback. Ultimately, just hours before our deadline, the government notified defense counsel it would oppose most of our revisions.”

At one point in the 29-page response, Lauro took at jab at President Biden, citing a “Dark Brandon” tweet that came the day of his predecessor’s arraignment last week.

“President Biden has likewise capitalized on the indictment, posting a thinly veiled reference to his administration’s prosecution of President Trump just hours before arraignment,” Trump’s attorney wrote.

The former president has previously hinted at plans to seek a new judge and new location for the adjudication of his latest indictment.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump is not happy with the judge overseeing his case, nor the ‘filthy’ city of Washington, DC.

Donald Trump
The former president is currently the 2024 GOP frontrunner.


Lauro later said on a podcast that his team “haven’t made a final decision on that issue at all.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the four-count indictment handed up last week, a 40-count indictment for alleged national security document hoarding, and a 34-count Manhattan indictment on charges of falsifying business records.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

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