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 October 11, 2023

Special counsel in Trump election interference case asks for juror protections

Special counsel Jack Smith is requesting juror protections for those involved in former President Donald Trump's Washington trial.

Smith requested the assistance based on Trump's social media posts criticizing others involved in his legal cases.

The statement

"There are other good reasons in this case for the Court to impose these restrictions and enforce this District's standard prohibition against publicizing jurors' identities," Smith's team said in Tuesday's filing.

"Chief among them is the defendant's continued use of social media as a weapon of intimidation in court proceedings," it added.

The details

"Given that the defendant—after apparently reviewing opposition research on court staff—chose to use social media to publicly attack a court staffer, there is cause for concern about what he may do with social media research on potential jurors in this case," Smith's team also noted.

“Given the particular sensitivities of this case, stemming both from heightened public interest and the defendant’s record of using social media to attack others, the Court should impose certain limited restrictions on the ability of the parties to conduct research on potential jurors during jury selection and trial and to use juror research,” the filing stated.

The explanation

"Prosecutors said the request was based on Trump's propensity for publicizing issues he has had with various prosecutors, court officials, and others involved in his cases. Trump frequently berates his targets with criticisms and insults on his social media platform Truth Social," the Washington Examiner reported.

"Smith pointed to a gag order a New York judge issued last week in a civil case against Trump after Trump targeted the judge's principal clerk on the platform," it continued.

The move comes after Trump criticized New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron during his current trial.

Trump also posted that the case "should be dismissed immediately," referring to one court clerk as "Schumer's girlfriend." The post has since been deleted.

The ongoing outbursts by the former president on social media might excite his followers but could result in more legal problems as Trump seeks to defend himself in multiple legal battles.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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