BREAKING: Judge Orders Trump Response To Jack Smith Amid Crossfire Over Trump Social Media Threat


Judge Orders Trump Response To Jack Smith Amid Crossfire Over Trump Social Media Threat

Federal District Judge Tanya Chutkan has ordered ex-President Donald Trump’s team to file a response to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s motion amid dueling claims over a social media threat.

News broke Friday night that Smith reacted to a Trump  Truth social post — which said “If you go after me, I’m coming after you” — by filing a request for a protective order, arguing Trump posts could have a chilling effect on witnesses.

In the motion, Smith wrote:

All the proposed order seeks to prevent is the improper dissemination or use of discovery materials, including to the public. 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:

Trump truth social threat IF YOU GO AFTER ME

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.

The Trump campaign later defended the post and denied it was intended as a threat, claiming the message was for “the RINO, China-loving, dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth.”

Smith’s team included a proposed order for Federal District Judge Tanya Chutkan to sign if she approves it, which reads, in part:

The defendant and defense counsel shall not disclose the Materials or their contents directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense, persons who are interviewed as potential witnesses, counsel for potential witnesses, and other persons to whom the Court may authorize disclosure (collectively, “Authorized Persons”). Potential witnesses and their counsel may be shown copies of the Materials as necessary to prepare the defense, but they may not retain copies without prior permission of the Court.

On Saturday, Judge Chutkan ordered Trump’s team to file a response, as well as their own version of a proposed order. The judge wrote:

MINUTE ORDER as to DONALD J. TRUMP: It is hereby ORDERED that by 5:00 PM on August 7, 2023, Defendant shall file a response to the government’s 10 Motion for Protective Order, stating Defendant’s position on the Motion. If Defendant disagrees with any portion of the government’s proposed Protective Order, ECF No. 10-1, his response shall include a revised version of that Protective Order with any modifications in redline. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 08/05/2023

Judge Chutkan — an Obama appointee — was randomly selected to handle the case.

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