Donald Trump’s attorneys are seeking to de-fang a protective order requested by the Justice Department in response to the former president’s attacks against prosecutors and the judge assigned to his 2020 election meddling case. The former president’s team has responded by claiming that restricting Trump’s manic posting would be a violation of his First Amendment rights.
During Trump’s arraignment in Washington D.C. on Thursday, the former president affirmed his understanding that — as explained by Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya — “it is a crime to try to influence a juror or to threaten or attempt to bribe a witness or any other person who may have information about your case, or to retaliate against anyone for providing information about your case to the prosecution, or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice.”
However, less than 24 hours later, Trump began a barrage of attacks against Special Counsel Jack Smith, other prosecutors who’ve charged him in various criminal cases, and federal Judge Tanya Chutkan.
“IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Friday.
The former president also posted a video branding President Joe Biden, Smith, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, and New York Attorney General Letitia James as the “fraud squad.”
In response to the outburst, the Justice Department filed a request late Friday night for a protective order that would limit Trump’s ability to access and publicly share evidence made available to him in the discovery phase of the trial. The order is similar to requests brought forth by Smith and Bragg in separate cases against the former president.
But the government’s filing did little to dissuade Trump’s rants, and the former president spent much of the weekend doubling down on his attacks.
Trump’s attorneys responded to the government on Monday, after having been denied an extension by Judge Tanya Chutkan.
The response framed the desired protective order as a violation of Trump’s First Amendment rights, and proposed changes to the language of the order that would narrow the definition of “sensitive” material, and likely render any restriction on who the former president could share evidence with largely moot.
Trump’s attorneys also included various bizarre tangents in their response, notably a screenshot of a TikTok featuring President Biden drinking from a “Dark Brandon” themed mug.
The filing claimed that the TikTok was a “thinly veiled” reference to Trump’s indictment.
Trump’s attorneys also repeated claims that the nature of the charges against their client are part of a political scheme by President Biden to prevent the former president from retaking office. “President Biden promised from the outset that his administration would ensure President Trump ‘does not become the next President again,’ adding an unprecedented political dimension to this prosecution,” the filing reads.
The quote, which went viral after Trump supporters claimed it “all but confirmed that [Biden’s] team is coordinating these Trump indictments,” is actually a decontextualized fragment of an answer Biden gave to reporters at a 2022 post-midterm election conference. During the discussion, the President answered questions regarding Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election, and responded when asked how he would reassure world leaders that there would be no repeats of the aftermath of the 2020 election.
“Well, we just have to demonstrate that he will not take power by — if we — if he does run. I’m making sure he, under legitimate efforts of our Constitution, does not become the next President again,” he said.
While his attorneys await a decision from Judge Chutkan, Trump continues to rage on social media.
“HOW CAN MY CORRUPT POLITICAL OPPONENT PUT ME ON TRIAL(S) DURING A CAMPAIGN THAT I AM WINNING (BY A LOT!), BUT FORCING ME TO SPEND TIME AND MONEY AWAY FROM THE “CAMPAIGN TRAIL”[…] IS THIS GOING TO BE THE FUTURE OF ELECTIONS IN AMERICA?” Trump wrote on Truth Social Monday afternoon.
Despite his loud musings, the former president’s first in-court hearing in the case is scheduled for August 28.
Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-protective-order-2020-election-indictment-1234802361/