Former President Donald Trump's legal team just submitted a legal document in which they wrote that special counsel Jack Smith's gag order argument would "flunk first-grade math."
This is all taking place in the so-called election interference case that Smith, on behalf of the Biden administration, has brought against Trump. Smith alleges that Trump engaged in criminal conduct following the 2020 presidential election, a claim which Trump has vigorously denied.
There are several big issues in this case, and, one of them is whether a gag order ought to be imposed on Trump.
Smith wants to prevent Trump from being able to publicly say certain things while the case is ongoing.
Trump's legal team, as well as many legal scholars, have argued that this is a violation of Trump's First Amendment free speech rights - particularly in light of the fact that Trump is the clear frontrunner to win the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 2024.
The two sides have been arguing about the gag order in recent months. Now, the imposition of the gag order is being appealed by Trump.
Trump's team contends that Smith's arguments in favor of the gag order "fail at every step."
"The Gag Order installs a single federal judge as a barrier between the leading candidate for President, President Donald J. Trump, and every American across the country," Trump's lawyers write.
They continue, "The district court had no business inserting itself into the Presidential election, just weeks before the Iowa caucuses. The First Amendment does not permit the district court to micromanage President Trump’s core political speech, nor to dictate what speech is sufficiently 'general' and what speech is too 'targeted' for the court’s liking."
Trump's legal team particularly took issue with Smith's reliance on the gag order that had been imposed on Trump in the civil fraud trial that is taking place in New York.
The prosecution relies heavily on a parallel gag order entered in New York court, which has now been stayed pending appeal. The prosecution contends that silencing a political candidate with over 100 million followers imposes an "equa" injury as silencing a single speaker—an argument that would flunk first-grade math.
Trump's team notes that, aside from one social media post, "the prosecution does not identify any instance of supposed threats, harassment, or intimidation to any prosecutor, witness, or court staff in this case—despite months of public commentary on the case by President Trump."
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments regarding the gag order on Monday.