On Saturday, a federal judge issued an order to former President Donald Trump, forcing him to respond to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request for a protective order by Monday evening due to a social media post made by the former president.
The order relates to the indictment Smith brought against Trump over alleged criminal efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
In a brief order, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan gave Trump until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to Smith’s request, writing, “If Defendant disagrees with any portion of the government’s proposed Protective Order, his response shall include a revised version of that Protective Order with any modifications in red line.”
Smith made the request Friday night, after Trump posted the following on Truth Social, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”
Smith stated that he believed that Trump would leak sensitive information about the case on social media and sought the order on those grounds.
“Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him,” argued Smith in a filing.
“If the defendant 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,” he said, adding that such posts may influence jurors.
A spokesperson for Trump promptly responded, implying that the post was not retaliation against Smith’s charges.
“The Truth post cited is the definition of political speech, and was in response to the RINO, China-loving, dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth,” said the brief statement.
It is worth noting that the post was issued just one day after Trump pleaded not guilty on charges related to the January 6 Capitol riot and the 2020 election. Trump was charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, Obstruction of an Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, and Conspiracy Against Rights.
Many political voices have expressed their concerns about the latest indictment, with many viewing it as political persecution of a former president and presidential candidate.
“The corrupt federal police just won’t stop until they’ve achieved their mission: eliminate Trump. This is un-American & I commit to pardoning Trump for this indictment,” said 2024 presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy in a statement to The Epoch Times.
“Washington, DC is a ‘swamp’ and it is unfair to have to stand trial before a jury that is reflective of the swamp mentality,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said in an interview with Sean Hannity that the indictments do not carry merit, but added that Mr. Trump will likely get a conviction in Washington because of the region’s political leanings. “I’ve read the indictment very carefully,” he said. “There is no smoking gun.”
“I think he may lose in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but I think he will probably win in the United States Supreme Court, if they grant review, and they should grant review. When you have the president of the United States and his people going after his opponent in a political election, it has to be beyond reproach. It has to be without any problem. It has to be the strongest case in history,” Dershowitz said. “This doesn’t meet that standard.”
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