The decade's most triggering comedy
Donald Trump responded on Monday to special counsel Jack Smith‘s request for a protective order seeking to limit the disclosure of information in the federal 2020 election criminal case against the former president.
In a filing submitted just before deadline at 5 p.m. ET, Trump’s lawyers asked that the proposed order be narrowed to “shield only genuinely sensitive materials from public view” or else their client may be restricted from discussing non-sensitive, potentially exculpatory evidence and could be precluded from seeking the help of “volunteer attorneys” or others “without paid employment arrangements.”
Trump’s legal team also warned that the government seeks to restrict Trump’s First Amendment rights in a case about First Amendment rights and claimed that President Joe Biden has already “capitalized” on the indictment, pointing to a re-election campaign social media post showing him drinking from a “Dark Brandon” coffee mug hours before Trump was arraigned.
Prosecutors filed the request for a protective order last week, noting that “much” of the evidence they planned to share with Trump’s legal team contained “sensitive and confidential information.”
In addition, they raised concerns about Trump’s posts to social media regarding “witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him,” and said if the former president “were to begin issuing public posts using details — or, for example, grand jury transcripts — obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case.”
Smith’s team specifically made reference to a post Trump made to his Truth Social account on Friday, writing in all capital letters, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!”
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is based in Washington, D.C., rejected the Trump legal team’s request for an extension to respond to the protective order request. Citing time restraints, Trump’s legal team requested a hearing on the matter so that the “parties may fully discuss each redline, in sequence, and address any concerns the Court may have.”
Trump is running a 2024 campaign for another term in the White House. He has broadly denied any wrongdoing while claiming he is the target of a “witch hunt” while facing multiple criminal indictments on the federal and state levels.
The former president pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces in two cases brought by Smith: one related to his handling of sensitive documents after leaving office and the other focused on alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“How can my corrupt political opponent put me on trial(s) during a campaign that I am winning (by a lot!), but forcing me to spend time and money away from the ‘campaign trail’ in order to fight bogus accusations & charges?” Trump said in a post to Truth Social on Monday. [sic: post was originally in all caps] “Is this going to be the future of elections in America? Can a president order his department of justice to indict an opponent just prior to an election? Why didn’t they do this 2.5 years ago? Why now? Never happened before in the USA. This is all about election interference!”