Special Counsel Seeks Reinforcement of Gag Order on Trump Amid Election Interference Case

Trump Accused of Witness Intimidation Amidst Ongoing Legal Battle

Washington, D.C. Special counsel Jack Smith has petitioned a federal judge to reimpose a gag order on former President Donald Trump in his election interference case, citing allegations of witness intimidation, specifically targeting his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

In a filing submitted to the U.S. District Court in Washington, Smith contended that Trump, in response to reports about Meadows receiving immunity to testify, had exploited the temporary suspension of his partial gag order. Smith accused Trump of attempting to intimidate witnesses crucial to the case, particularly Meadows, who had reportedly informed Smith’s team that Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud after his 2020 election loss were unfounded. The four-count indictment against Trump alleges an illegal conspiracy to overturn the election results, to which Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Trump’s attempt to influence witnesses became evident in a post on his Truth Social account, where he implied coercion by Smith regarding Meadows’ testimony. The former president’s actions occurred despite the original gag order imposed by Judge Tanya Chutkan on October 17. The order prohibited public statements targeting potential witnesses, Smith, defense counsel, court members, or their staff. Last week, the order was temporarily halted while the judge considered Trump’s request for an appeal regarding the speech restrictions.

Smith argued that Trump’s claim of being “silenced” was baseless, emphasizing that the gag order merely restricted him from targeting specific individuals connected to the case. He urged Judge Chutkan to lift the pause on the gag order, asserting that without intervention, Trump would persist in his prejudicial attacks, endangering the integrity of the proceedings and putting trial participants at risk.

Additionally, Smith requested modifications to Trump’s release conditions, preventing him from sending indirect messages to witnesses. Smith proposed clarifying that existing conditions barred communication with witnesses about the case’s facts, including indirect messages made publicly on social media or in speeches. This, Smith argued, would empower the court to enforce compliance and penalize violations effectively.

Trump is also subject to another gag order in a separate civil case in New York, where he and his company face accusations of inflating property values for financial gain. Despite this order, Trump has violated it twice by making public statements about the judge’s staff since its imposition in early October.

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