Jack Smith has filed a ‘gag order’ against former President Donald Trump, aiming to restrict public statements that could potentially influence the outcome of an ongoing trial. The order seeks to prevent comments that might sway the trial’s result or bias potential jurors, the prosecution argues.
Smith’s order cites the court’s “duty” to shield the trial process from external influences that could materially prejudice its proceedings. The order stipulates that parties involved in the case, including their attorneys, are barred from making or authorizing public statements, including on social media platforms, that carry a significant likelihood of causing material prejudice to the case. This encompasses:
- Statements discussing the identity, testimony, or credibility of potential witnesses.
- Statements that are disparaging, inflammatory, or intimidating about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors.
- The defendant, in this case, Trump, is also restricted from having surrogates make such statements on his behalf.
Permissible Statements: The order does not prevent the defendant or his representatives from:
- Quoting or referring to the court’s public records in the case without adding any commentary.
- Announcing the scheduling or outcome of any judicial process stage.
- Seeking assistance in gathering evidence.
- Simply stating, without any additional commentary, that the defendant denies the charges.
NEW: After "accidentally" forgetting to add the proposed gag order in motion last week, Jack Smith filed it yesterday.
This is the furthest thing from a "narrow" order. It is another contempt trap not just for Trump but those around him including campaign spokesmen. Trump's only… pic.twitter.com/mHm6ehiuFh
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) September 22, 2023
The trial for Trump’s alleged interference in the 2020 election will take place on March 4, 2024. This places the trial squarely in the midst of the GOP presidential primary calendar. This has followed the investigation by Jack Smith into Trump’s potential involvement in the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021, and purported meddling in the 2020 election results.
On August 1, Trump faced four federal indictments as a result of Smith’s January 6 inquiry. These charges encompass conspiring to defraud the United States, plotting to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructing and attempting to obstruct an official process, and conspiracy against rights.
Trump has staunchly refuted all allegations, asserting his innocence.