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Trump opposes proposed gag order in classified documents case

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(The Center Square) – As the presidential campaign continues, a judge could soon decide whether to place further limits on former President Donald Trump’s speech.

Trump’s legal team opposes a gag order on the presumptive GOP nominee for president, which prosecutors proposed in his classified documents case.

Special Counsel Jack Smith previously asked the judge in the case to prohibit Trump from making “public statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to the law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”

The request came after Trump said the FBI “WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHOOT ME,” was “just itching to do the unthinkable,” and was “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger” during the 2022 raid of Trump’s Mar-A-Lago property in Florida.

Trump’s legal team called the motion an attempt to limit Trump as he runs for the White House against President Joe Biden.

“Smith seeks to restrict President Trump’s campaign speech as the first presidential debate approaches at the end of this month,” Trump’s team wrote in opposition. “Smith’s motion goes one step further in his efforts to interfere in the 2024 presidential election and assist President Biden, by seeking improper restrictions on President Trump’s core protected speech that would continue through the Republican National Convention in July, and thereafter, until this case is dismissed for one or more of the myriad reasons we have identified.”

Smith’s team argued that Trump’s comments put law enforcement officials involved in the case at risk.

Trump’s team said the gag order would only chill Trump’s speech during the presidential campaign.

“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,” defense attorneys wrote in the motion. “The Gag Order Modification is also vague and lacking in sufficient enforcement criteria – as if tailor-made to broadly chill protected speech.”

Also, a coalition of 24 GOP state attorneys general filed a brief requesting the court reject gag order request.

“Free and fair elections in the United States depend on candidates’ ability to speak about important issues of the day,” the attorneys general wrote in the brief filed Monday. “Attempts to stop a candidate from speaking out harm more than just the candidate. They also hurt the voters, who are denied access to crucial information, and the States, which are responsible for managing elections.”

Judge Aileen Cannon plans to hear arguments on the issue from both sides at 3 p.m. June 24.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 40 felony counts that allege he kept sensitive military documents, shared them with people who didn’t have security clearance, and tried to dodge the government’s attempts to get them back.

Trump has repeatedly said that the civil and criminal charges he faces are the result of politically motivated prosecutions designed to keep him from returning to the White House.

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