Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team has argued that recent comments made by Donald Trump about former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley and other public officials further support their argument that Trump should be restricted in his remarks regarding the federal election interference case. In a court filing, Smith’s team claimed that Trump has engaged in a sustained campaign of prejudicial public statements that could influence the outcome of the trial or prejudice jury selection. They pointed to Trump’s comments in a recent interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press” and posts on his social media platform, Truth Social, as examples of his prejudicial statements.
The filing requests a narrowly tailored order that would bar Trump from making certain extrajudicial statements about the case, aiming to prevent any public remarks that could have an impact on the trial. Prosecutors believe that the need for the proposed order is evident from a review of Trump’s statements since the government initially filed its motion. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the case, has scheduled a hearing on October 16 to discuss the potential gag order.
In addition to Trump’s comments about Milley and other officials, the filing also cited social media posts that cast doubt on the fairness of Judge Chutkan and the prosecutors. The special counsel’s office argued that Trump’s statements could lead potential jurors to form improper views about the witnesses’ reputations and veracity. Trump’s attorneys, on the other hand, argue that the prosecutors are attempting to silence him and deny him his First Amendment rights. Trump himself claims that the efforts to limit his public statements are driven by President Joe Biden’s desire to strip him of his First Amendment rights.