Donald Trump Looks to Thwart Prosecutors’ Motion for a Gag-Order in Documents Case

On Monday, Donald Trump’s attorneys asked a federal judge to reject the prosecution’s request for a gag order limiting what the former president can say about law enforcement officers involved in the case who are accusing him of mishandling sensitive, confidential documents. 

Trump’s team has also asked Aileen Cannon, U.S. District Judge, in Fort Pierce, Florida, to pursue civil contempt findings and impose sanctions against “all government attorneys who participated in the decision to file the motion.”

In the document case, one of four criminal cases against the former president, prosecutors have brought forward 40 counts of retaining sensitive national security documents following departing office. Donald Trump has asserted his right to keep them.

Friday, prosecutors asked Judge Cannon to prevent Trump from making statements that pose a threat to law enforcement and review his bail conditions.

Jack Smith, the special counsel, said the request was necessary due to several “intentionally false and inflammatory statements” that the former president recently made about the search by the FBI of his Florida Mar-a-Lago golf course in August of 2022.

According to Smith’s accusations, Trump, the presumptive GOP challenger to incumbent Democrat challenger Joe Biden in the November 5 presidential election, has claimed falsely in fundraising messages sent by his campaign that the FBI was authorized to attempt an assassination.

The special counsel argued Trump’s mischaracterizations have put law enforcement officers in danger and claimed limiting such comments doesn’t restrict legitimate speech.

Trump lawyers accused prosecutors of “bad-faith behavior”

In the Monday filing asking the judge to reject the gag order, lawyers for Trump, Christopher Kise, and Todd Blanche accused prosecutors of “bad-faith behavior” by rapidly filing the request Friday evening before the holiday weekend and failing to give sufficient time to the defense to discuss it before filing—in violation of local court rules.

The defense team said the violation should warrant sanctions against prosecutors, including potential payment to cover the resulting expenses.

Additionally, the defense argued that the prosecutors’ request for a gag order unfairly limited Trump’s right to free speech in the campaign.

The court file did not indicate when Judge Cannon would rule on the motions from both sides.

The New York criminal trial of Trump on charges that he falsified business records to cover up a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels, a porn star, before the 2016 election, is set to resume Tuesday with closing arguments.

The former president additionally faces charges in Georgia and Washington for allegedly attempting to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden.