Trump Criticizes Special Counsel’s Restrictions on His Speech
Donald Trump Attacks Special Counsel for Limiting His Speech
Former President Donald Trump criticized special counsel Jack Smith on Friday, accusing him of being a “deranged” prosecutor. Smith’s office recently sought restrictions on what Trump can say about his federal election interference case.
In a speech at a conservative Christian women’s organization conference in Washington, D.C., Trump claimed that Smith wants to infringe upon his rights under the First Amendment. He accused the special counsel of attempting to silence him and take away his freedom of speech.
This is not the first time Trump has attacked Smith using similar language. However, this latest criticism came shortly after Smith requested a partial gag order in the D.C. election case. Trump faces four criminal counts in that case, which alleges he conspired to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Special Counsel Seeks Restrictions on Trump’s Statements
Smith argued that Trump’s repeated attacks on the court, prosecutors, potential witnesses, and the citizens of D.C. could undermine the integrity of the proceedings and prejudice the jury pool. In a court filing, the special counsel requested a narrow restriction on certain prejudicial extrajudicial statements.
The proposed restrictions would include statements about the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses, as well as disparaging and inflammatory statements about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors. Smith cited multiple social media posts from Trump’s Truth Social account as evidence of his prejudicial statements.
Trump responded to the motion by vowing to never let them silence him and accused a prosecutor in the special counsel’s office of improper conduct. However, Smith clarified that the prosecutor conducted a routine investigative interview at the White House with a career military official, dismissing Trump’s claims as an attempt to prejudice the public and the venire before trial.
The judge has yet to rule on Smith’s request, which could potentially restrict Trump from disparaging the special counsel himself.
Trump’s Speech and Future Engagements
Trump delivered this speech at a gathering of the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, marking his first appearance in D.C. since his plea of not guilty at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in the federal election case. He was scheduled to make a second appearance at the annual summit of the Family Research Council, another religious conservative group.