Trump’s Lawyers Slam Gag Order Request as ‘Unconstitutional Overreach’

Caption: Donald Trump at CPAC 2014 | Source:


Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys are pushing back against a gag order request in his classified documents case, labeling it an overreach and unconstitutional. They argue that the prosecution has not demonstrated any evidence of threats or harassment stemming from Trump’s comments.

Why It Matters

This case raises significant questions about the balance between free speech and judicial process in the United States.

Who It Impacts

The outcome of this case will impact former President Trump, the legal system, and the broader political landscape.

In a recent court filing, former President Donald Trump’s legal team vehemently opposed a gag order requested by special counsel Jack Smith in the ongoing classified documents case. The attorneys described the request as a “shocking display of overreach” and argued that it infringes on constitutional rights. They submitted this response to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on June 14, urging her to dismiss the prosecutors’ claims.

Trump’s lawyers asserted that the prosecution had not provided any evidence to substantiate claims of threats or harassment resulting from the former president’s remarks. “Not a single FBI agent who participated in the raid submitted an affidavit, or even an argument, claiming that President Trump’s remarks put them at risk,” the legal team stated. They further contended that the gag order is plagued with “ambiguities,” lacks clear enforcement criteria, and would have a “chilling effect” on free speech.

The defense highlighted that such an order would violate Trump’s right to “core political speech.” This argument mirrors the defense’s stance in Trump’s New York criminal trial, where a gag order had been imposed by Justice Juan Merchan, preventing Trump from commenting on certain individuals connected to the case.

Prosecutors, however, have maintained that Trump’s comments, particularly those regarding the FBI agents involved in the Mar-a-Lago search, could lead to threats and harassment against law enforcement. They cited a series of posts and fundraising emails from Trump and his campaign that allegedly contained false and inflammatory allegations. Specifically, they pointed to claims that federal officials were “authorized to shoot” Trump or were “locked & loaded.”

The FBI has consistently stated that its agents adhered to standard procedures during the August 2022 search of Mar-a-Lago, which includes a policy on the limited use of deadly force. An FBI spokesperson emphasized, “The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force.”

Judge Cannon previously denied a similar gag order request but is now set to hear the renewed request on June 24. Prosecutors argue that Trump’s inflammatory statements could also prejudice potential jurors in the case. They warned that such rhetoric exposes law enforcement professionals to undue risks, citing past incidents where individuals involved in legal proceedings against Trump faced threats.

The case against Trump involves 40 federal counts related to the illegal retention of classified documents and alleged obstruction of efforts to retrieve them. Trump has pleaded not guilty to these charges, asserting that the case is politically motivated to derail his reelection campaign. Judge Cannon has indefinitely postponed the trial, with no set date for proceedings.