Special Counsel Jack Smith wants a judge to impose a gag order on former President Donald Trump.
Special counsel Jack Smith is asking a judge to issue a gag order against Donald Trump, prohibiting him from attacking prosecutors, the judge, or potential witnesses who may testify in his federal criminal trial stemming from his effort to subvert the 2020 election.
Read on to see Trump's blistering response to Smith's request.
Smith is seeking the gag order in the criminal case that he has brought against Trump in relation to the Capitol protest of Jan. 6, 2021. Smith filed the request a little over a week ago, but it was not made public until this past Friday.
In it, Smith writes, "The defendant’s past conduct, including conduct that has taken place after and as a direct result of the indictment in this case, amply demonstrates the need for this order."
Smith goes on to provide various examples of Trump's "conduct."
Smith, for example, cited the message that Trump posted to social media after Smith's indictment of him, the message in which Trump wrote, "If you go after me, I'm coming after you."
Smith, among other things, claimed that such messages from Trump could lead to threats and perhaps even violence.
Gag orders are not unusual, but this case is. What makes it unusual is not just the fact that Trump is the former president but the fact that Trump is currently the Republican Party's clear frontrunner. In other words, he is President Joe Biden's chief 2024 Republican rival.
A gag order could prevent Trump from being able to effectively campaign, which would be a form of election interference.
Trump has issued several public statements in response to Smith's gag order request.
On Truth Social, he wrote:
Biden Prosecutor, Deranged Jack Smith, has asked the Court to limit 45th President, and leading Republican Nominee (by more than 50 points, & beating Dems!) DONALD J. TRUMP’S, PUBLIC STATEMENTS. So, I’m campaigning for President against an incompetent person who has WEAPONIZED the DOJ & FBI to go after his Political Opponent, & I am not allowed to COMMENT? They Leak, Lie, & Sue, & they won’t allow me to SPEAK? How else would I explain that Jack Smith is DERANGED, or Crooked Joe is INCOMPETENT?
Then, in a subsequent speech that he gave in Washington, D.C., Trump said:
Deranged Jack Smith, he's the prosecutor, wants to take away my rights under the First Amendment, wants to take away my right to speak freely and openly. Never forget our enemies want to stop us because we are the only ones who can stop them.
The decision about whether or not to grant the gag order is in the hands of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan. Chutkan has been heavily criticized for her clear anti-Trump bias. At the time of this writing, Chutkan has not issued a ruling on the matter.