Judge Cannon Rejects Special Counsel’s Bid to Restrict Trump’s Comments on Law Enforcement

The federal judge in charge of former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case has denied the special counsel’s request to stop Trump from making statements that could endanger law enforcement.

Trump’s lawyers argued that the special counsel broke Local Rule 88.9, which requires both parties to “meet and confer” before filing motions to save time for the court and the parties involved.

On Monday, Trump’s lawyers asked Judge Cannon to dismiss the special counsel’s request and punish the prosecutors who filed it.

Judge Aileen Cannon agreed with Trump’s lawyers, saying that the special counsel’s attempt to discuss the issue with Trump’s lawyers was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.”

She said the special counsel should not have filed the motion without properly discussing it with the defense, as the local rules require. She warned that not following these rules could lead to penalties.

Trump’s lawyers wrote, “Due to the Office’s blatant violation of Local Rule 88.9 and related court warnings, the Court should strike the Motion, find all government attorneys involved in filing the Motion without proper discussion in civil contempt, and impose sanctions after holding a hearing to understand the reasons behind the Office’s decision to ignore required procedures.”

Trump’s lead defense attorney, Todd Blanche, had asked the special counsel to wait until Monday to discuss – something the special counsel’s office refused because they felt Trump had created an urgent situation with his public comments that couldn’t wait the weekend to file.

Special counsel prosecutor David Harbach wrote in an email to Trump’s lawyers, “We believed that the situation your client created required a quick request for relief that couldn’t wait the weekend. We understand your position and told the court that you think the government didn’t engage in enough discussion here.”

The special counsel’s request followed Trump’s claims about a recently released piece of evidence.

Trump falsely claimed that it showed President Joe Biden planned to kill him during the search of his Mar-a-Lago club in August 2022.

The special counsel wanted to change Trump’s release conditions to ensure he couldn’t make statements that pose a danger to law enforcement agents involved in his case.

They referenced an attack on an FBI field office in Cincinnati, Ohio, which they said happened after Trump’s statements “inflamed his supporters” following the August search.

Last June, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal charges related to his handling of classified materials after leaving the White House.

Prosecutors said he refused to return hundreds of documents with classified information, including U.S. nuclear secrets and defense capabilities, and took steps to prevent the government from getting the documents back.

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