Special counsel again asks for modified release conditions for Trump in classified documents case

by Admin
Special counsel again asks for modified release conditions for Trump in classified documents case

Special counsel Jack Smith on Friday asked the judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case in Florida to bar him from making statements that endanger law enforcement.

The filing marks the second motion from Smith in days urging U.S. District Judge Judge Aileen Cannon to modify Trump’s conditions of release in the case. And like the motion before, Friday’s motion was based on Trump’s false claims about FBI agents being prepared to kill him during the 2022 Mar-a-Lago search for classified documents.

“Trump’s repeated mischaracterization of these facts in widely distributed messages as an attempt to kill him, his family, and Secret Service agents has endangered law enforcement officers involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case and threatened the integrity of these proceedings,” Smith said in the filing.

Trump’s campaign had claimed in a fundraising email that President Joe Biden was “locked & loaded ready to take me out,” comments that echoed similar statements by the former president about FBI agents.

Trump was not in Florida at the time of the raid, and the FBI has said the authorization he apparently referenced is typical language limiting the use of force.

The policy prohibits deadly force except for “when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person,” Friday’s motion explained.

“Trump, however, has grossly distorted these standard practices by mischaracterizing them as a plan to kill him, his family, and U.S. Secret Service agents,” Smith said in the motion. “Those deceptive and inflammatory assertions irresponsibly put a target on the backs of the FBI agents involved in this case, as Trump well knows.”

Smith’s previous motion on the issue was denied on Tuesday because Cannon argued that the special counsel’s efforts to discuss the issue with Trump’s defense team was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.” Trump’s lawyers had argued that by not consulting the defense before filing the motion, prosecutors violated procedure.

Friday’s motion, however, included a certificate confirming that prosecutors conferred with defense about the motion via a phone call on Wednesday, as well as emails on Thursday and Friday.

Trump’s lawyers requested that the certificate include their statement, in which they confirm that Trump “opposes the motion.”

“On the merits, President Trump’s position is that the requested modification is a blatant violation of the First Amendment rights of President Trump and the American People, which would in effect allow President Trump’s political opponent to regulate his campaign communications to voters across the country,” Trump’s team said.

Prosecutors addressed the First Amendment issue in their motion, arguing their request did not conflict with the amendment, pointing to pretrial release conditions often including measures that restrict certain actions and speech.

Smith’s request echoes the gag order imposed on Trump in the business records falsification case. Judge Juan Merchan placed a gag order, which prevents Trump from attacking jurors and witnesses. Trump was fined thousands of dollars for violating the gag order multiple times.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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