Judge nixes bid to restrict Trump statements that could endanger officers in classified records case

posted in: Politics | 0

By ALANNA DURKIN RICHER (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s classified documents case in Florida on Tuesday denied prosecutors’ request to bar the former president from making public statements that could endanger law enforcement agents participating in the prosecution.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon said in her order that prosecutors on special counsel Jack Smith’s team didn’t give defense lawyers adequate time to discuss the request before it was filed Friday evening. She denied the request without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could file it again.

The request followed a distorted claim by Trump last week that the FBI agents who searched his Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022 were “authorized to shoot me” and were “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was referring to the disclosure in a court document that the FBI, during the search in Palm Beach, Florida, followed a standard use-of-force policy that prohibits the use of deadly force except when the officer conducting the search 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.”

Prosecutors said in court papers late Friday that Trump’s statements falsely suggesting that federal agents “were complicit in a plot to assassinate him” expose law enforcement officers — some of whom prosecutors noted will be called as witnesses at his trial — “to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment.”

Trump faces dozens of felony counts accusing him of illegally hoarding at his Mar-a-Lago estate classified documents that he took with him after he left the White House in 2021 and then obstructing the FBI’s efforts to get them back. He has pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing.

It’s among four criminal cases Trump is confronting as he seeks to reclaim the White House, but outside of the ongoing New York hush money prosecution, it’s unclear that any of the other three will reach trial before the November election.

Trump has already had restrictions placed on his speech in two of the other cases over incendiary comments officials say threaten the integrity of the prosecutions.

In the New York case, Trump has been fined and threatened with jail time for repeatedly violating a gag order that bars him from making public statements about witnesses, jurors and some others connected to the matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.