Donald Trump rebuffed a request by US prosecutors to limit some of his public remarks about those connected in the federal court lawsuit accusing him of seeking to sway the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
The attorneys for the former U.S. president strongly resisted Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request for a court order restricting Trump’s out-of-court statements regarding prospective witnesses in the case and prohibiting insulting or threatening remarks about the judge, prosecutors, and potential jurors.
Trump’s legal team argued in a court statement late Monday that such limits would violate his free speech rights as the obvious front-runner for the Republican nominee in 2024.
Trump has previously criticized Smith’s proposal, claiming it was an attempt to limit his criticism of President Joe Biden, his potential opponent in the 2024 election.
“At bottom, the Proposed Gag Order is nothing more than an obvious attempt by the Biden Administration to unlawfully silence its most prominent political opponent,” the lawsuit stated.
Trump was accused in August on four felony charges for allegedly attempting to meddle in vote counting and prevent the 2020 election from being certified, one of four criminal indictments he faces. Trump has pled not guilty to all of the accusations leveled against him.
In a court filing this month, Smith’s office stated that Trump threatened to undermine public trust in the case and influence potential jurors with “near daily” social media attacks on prosecutors, U.S. Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the case, and residents of Washington, D.C. who will serve as jurors.
Prosecutors said Trump has a history of inciting his fans to harass and threaten persons he publicly criticizes.
On January 6, 2021, thousands of Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol, battling with police and fleeing politicians for their lives in an unsuccessful attempt to overturn Trump’s election defeat. Trump maintains his bogus assertion that his defeat was caused by fraud.