Judge denies special prosecutor Smith's request for gag order against Trump in classified docs case

Cannon says that Smith's request was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.”

Published: May 28, 2024 11:52am

Updated: May 28, 2024 3:15pm

Federal Judge Aileen Cannon on Tuesday denied Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith’s request to impose a gag order against former President Donald Trump in his federal classified documents case.

She said that Smith's request was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.”

Cannon warned Smith that "failure to comply" with the requirements she has outlined for "non-emergency motions" could result in sanctions. 

Trump is already under a gag order in another criminal trial, the ongoing one in a Manhattan courtroom in which he faces 34 counts related to allegedly trying in 2016 to falsify business documents for a hush money payment to porn start Stormy Daniels for alleged sexual encounter about 11 years earlier, to prevent the matter from interfering with his ultimately successful bid to become president.

In the classified documents case, Smith asked Cannon on Friday to limit the comments Trump could make about the law enforcement officers who searched his Mar-a-Lago resort, in search of classified documents from his presidency.

The former president faces allegations that he illegally retained national defense information, that he took part in a conspiracy to obstruct justice, and that he made false statements, according to Yahoo News.

Trump’s trial was initially scheduled to begin this month. However, Cannon on May 7 postponed the trial indefinitely, saying  the original date didn’t work because of the number of remaining pre-trial motions, the news outlet also reports.

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