Prosecutors Ask Trial Judge to Bar Trump From Certain Statements 

Federal prosecutors in the classified documents case have requested a gag order on defendant Donald Trump that would bar him from making any public statements that “pose a significant, imminent and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents” who have participated in the case.

The request was sent last Friday to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case. It also comes after Trump made a statement recently that claimed that the FBI agents who were part of the August 2022 search of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida were “authorized to shoot me” and were also “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

What Trump was referring to was a disclosure made in a court document that, after the search was over, the FBI followed what is a standard policy regarding use-of-force. That policy prohibits any officer from using deadly force, unless the officer reasonably believes that the “subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.”

The policy, which is made by the Department of Justice, is routine, though. In fact, its aim is to limit force and not encourage it.

Countering Trump’s claims, prosecutors said that the FBI search in 2022 was conducted intentionally when Trump and members of his family weren’t in the state of Florida. The FBI also coordinated with the U.S. Secret Service in advance.

In court filings last week, prosecutors who are working for special counsel Jack Smith in the case said the statements Trump falsely made that suggested agents “were complicit in a plot to assassinate him” exposes law enforcement agents “to the risk of threats, violence and harassment.”

Some of those agents are set to be witnesses against Trump in the trial.

As prosecutors wrote in their filing:

“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. A restriction prohibiting future similar statements does not restrict legitimate speech.”

Trump’s lawyers objected to the prosecutors’ motion, though they haven’t specifically commented on it yet.

The attacks against Trump from the DOJ didn’t stop there, though. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Trump’s claims were “extremely dangerous.” 

He added in the filing that the document the former president was referring to is just standard policy that was also in the search of President Joe Biden’s home when the FBI searched for classified documents there.

In a statement on Friday, Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump’s campaign, said:

“[Biden and] his hacks and thugs are obsessed with trying to deprive President Trump and all American voters of their First Amendment rights. 

“Repeated attempts to silence President Trump during the presidential campaign are blatant attempts to interfere in the election. They are last ditch efforts of desperate Democrat radicals running a losing campaign for a failed president.