Judge denies Jack Smith’s motion for another gag order against Trump: ‘Wholly lacking substance’

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s motion to gag former President Donald Trump has been denied.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon shot down the attempt to keep the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee from making statements like the one accusing President Joe Biden of trying to have him assassinated with the FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home.

Cannon chastised Smith’s team in a paperless order Tuesday, calling out the lack of “professional courtesy” in not giving Trump’s legal team enough time after filing the motion last Friday before the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The Trump-appointed judge wrote that “the Court finds the Special Counsel’s pro forma ‘conferral’ to be wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.”

“It should go without saying that meaningful conferral is not a perfunctory exercise. Sufficient time needs to be afforded to permit reasonable evaluation of the requested relief by opposing counsel and to allow for adequate follow-up discussion as necessary about the specific factual and legal basis underlying the motion,” the paperless order continued.

“Because the filing of the Special Counsel’s Motion did not adhere to these basic requirements, it is due to be denied without prejudice. Any future, non-emergency motion brought in this case — whether on the topic of release conditions or anything else — shall not be filed absent meaningful, timely, and professional conferral,” Cannon added.

Newly released court documents last week sparked a furious response from Trump over FBI agents who searched the Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022. The documents revealed: “The Order contained a ‘Policy Statement’ regarding ‘Use of Deadly Force,’ which stated, for example, ‘Law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice may use deadly force when necessary…’”

 

Trump slammed the order and said agents were “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

Smith fired back with a motion to gag the former president again.

“The Government moves to modify defendant Donald J. Trump’s conditions of release, to make clear that he may not make statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case,” read the filing.

“The government’s request is necessary because of several intentionally false and inflammatory statements recently made by Trump that distort the circumstances under which the Federal Bureau of Investigation planned and executed the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago,” it continued.

Smith claimed Trump was “falsely suggesting that they were complicit in a plot to assassinate him,” and his “deceptive and inflammatory assertions irresponsibly put a target on the backs of the FBI agents involved in this case, as Trump well knows.”

In an objection, Trump attorney Todd Blanche noted that “a 5:30 p.m. email on the Friday before Memorial Day is not meeting and conferring in any sense of the word.”

Frieda Powers

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