WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors in the case charging Donald Trump with scheming to overturn the 2020 presidential election are seeking an order that would restrict the former president from “inflammatory” and “intimidating” comments about witnesses, lawyers and the judge.
Special counsel Jack Smith's team said in a motion filed Friday that such a “narrow, well-defined” order was necessary to preserve the integrity of the case and to avoid prejudicing potential jurors.
“Since the grand jury returned an indictment in this case, the defendant has repeatedly and widely disseminated public statements attacking the citizens of the District of Columbia, the Court, prosecutors, and prospective witnesses,” prosecutors wrote. “Through his statements, the defendant threatens to undermine the integrity of these proceedings and prejudice the jury pool.”
Among the statements cited by prosecutors in their motion is a a post on his Truth Social platform days after the indictment in which Trump wrote, in all capital letters, “If you go after me, I'm coming after you!”
A Trump spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment, but the Justice Department motion says defense lawyers oppose the request.
The issue surfaced last week with the disclosure by the Justice Department that it sought to file a motion related to “daily” public statements by Trump that it said it feared would taint the jury pool.
Also Friday, Smith's team pushed back against the Trump team request to have U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan recuse herself from the case. Defense lawyers had cited prior comments from Chutkan that they say cast doubt on her ability to be fair, but prosecutors responded that there was no valid basis for her to step aside.
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Eric Tucker, The Associated Press