Prosecutors Request Protective Order Following Trump Threat: ‘Could Have a Harmful Chilling Effect on Witnesses’


Prosecutors requested a protective order on Friday after former President Donald Trump published a threatening post following his arraignment in Washington, D.C.

After Trump pleaded not guilty to charges related to his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election on Thursday, he warned in a Truth Social post, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

On Friday evening, the Department of Justice proposed a protective order in response to his post, arguing that Trump’s future commentary “could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses.”

“All the proposed order seeks to prevent is the improper dissemination or use of discovery materials, including to the public,” the request read, adding:

Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him. And in recent days, regarding this case, the defendant has issued multiple posts—either specifically or by implication—including the following, which the defendant posted just hours ago.

The document then displayed a screenshot of Trump’s “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Truth Social post, before warning, “If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case.”

Lawyer Bradley P. Moss explained on Twitter that the request was “*not* a gag order,” and was rather “a limited protective order tied to discovery they were going to be seeking anyway.”

He noted, “This allows DOJ to notify the court of what Trump is doing without yet having to deal with the tricky legal question of whether this is a violation.”

Watch above via MSNBC.

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