Federal Judge Slaps Down Jack Smith’s Request, Chastises Him

Federal Judge Slaps Down Jack Smith’s Request, Chastises Him

Special counsel Jack Smith faced a setback on Tuesday in his ongoing attempt to restrict former President Donald Trump’s freedom of speech amid the legal battles being waged against him.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, in the Southern District of Florida, denied Smith’s request for a gag order to prevent Trump from speaking out against the Biden administration’s authorization for the FBI to use deadly force during the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club home in Palm Beach in August 2022.

Smith’s office filed the motion on Friday, aiming to silence Trump from criticizing Biden for giving the FBI the legal cover to conduct what Trump called “the unthinkable.”

“BIDEN’S DOJ WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHOOT ME!,” Trump wrote in a fundraising email, as reported by The New York Times on Wednesday. “It’s just been revealed that Biden’s DOJ was authorized to use DEADLY FORCE for their DESPICABLE raid in Mar-a-Lago. You know they’re just itching to do the unthinkable … Joe Biden was locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

Judge Cannon denied Smith’s motion, stating that “the Special Counsel’s pro forma ‘conferral’ [was] wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy,” The Hill reported.

According to The Hill, both parties in the case are required to confer with each other before filing motions with the court.

Smith’s team only reached out to Trump’s attorneys via email at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, just before a holiday weekend, The Hill noted.

Smith demanded that Judge Cannon rule that Trump “may not make statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents.”

However, Cannon found the request unsubstantiated and criticized Smith’s team for not adhering to procedural rules, which require ample time for the defense to review and discuss the motion.

“It should go without saying that meaningful conferral is not a perfunctory exercise. Sufficient time needs to be afforded to permit reasonable evaluation of the requested relief by opposing counsel and to allow for adequate follow-up discussion,” Cannon wrote.

Cannon also implemented rules to ensure Smith’s team confers with Trump’s attorneys before filing future motions, warning that “Failure to comply with these requirements may result in sanctions.”

Trump’s legal team filed a motion over the Memorial Day weekend, condemning Smith’s gag order request as an “extraordinary, unprecedented, and unconstitutional censorship application,” CNN reported.

Trump’s attorneys accused Smith — whom they referred to as a “self-appointed Thought Police” — of “seeking to condition President Trump’s liberty on his compliance” with Smith’s personal political views.

This isn’t the first time Smith has sought to impose a gag order on Trump. Smith previously secured a partial gag order in the election interference case against Trump in Washington, D.C.

That order was upheld by the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, according to The New York Times.

Trump is also under a gag order related to his “hush money” trial in Manhattan, which is nearing its conclusion.

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