The Justice Department cited one of Donald Trump’s social media posts in arguing that a protective order should be issued in the former president’s January6th case, in which he has been charged with conspiracy in an effort to remain in power after the 2020 election.
In a filing late on Friday, prosecutors keyed in on one of Trump’s Truth Social postings from earlier in the day, in which he wrote, ‘IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” On Thursday, Trump plead not guilty to four charges related to his efforts to overturn the election results.
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“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,” the prosecutors, led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, wrote in the court filing.
They are asking for a protective order restricting Trump and his legal team from disseminating discovery materials, including identifying information of witnesses and grand jury testimony. Such protective orders are not unusual, but the prosecutors wrote that “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.”
A Trump spokesperson said in response to the government’s filing, “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 PASs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth.”
U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan has set an Aug. 10 deadline for prosecutors to propose a trial date, and Aug. 17 for Trump’s team to respond. A status conference also has been scheduled for Aug. 28, but Chutkan has waived the requirement that Trump appear then.
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