Donald Trump social media post flagged by prosecutors in court
As a result of Donald Trump’s online posting of a threatening message, prosecutors have asked Trump to limit his public statements about his upcoming trial.
According to the prosecutors, Mr Trump may divulge confidential evidence, according to a filing late on Friday night.
In defense of the move, they pointed to a post shared by Mr. Trump on Friday, saying it targeted people involved in the case.
Mr Trump’s team, however, insisted that the post was an attack on his political opponents.
On Friday afternoon, Mr Trump wrote on the Truth social network “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”, just one day after pleading not guilty to four charges in the alleged election fraud case.
The charges stem from the former president’s actions after the 2020 election, including around the 6 January Capitol riot. The charges include conspiracy to defraud the US, tampering with a witness, and violating citizens’ rights.
The office of Special Counsel Jack Smith said the post raised concerns about Mr Trump revealing secret material, such as grand jury transcripts.
Mr Smith’s office warned that Mr Trump may have a chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case due to his history of attacking judges, attorneys and witnesses.
On Friday, he told a crowd of supporters in Alabama that Mr Smith was “deranged” and “a bad guy”.
According to the filing, Friday’s post “specifically or by implication” referred to those involved in the criminal case.
In addition, the order they are seeking – known as a protective order – would not be “overly restrictive”, since it would allow Mr Trump and his team to discuss the case in the media and would allow access to discovery materials.
The proposed order is intended only to prevent improper dissemination or use of discovery materials, including to the public.
Tanya Chutkan gave Mr Trump’s legal team until 17:00 local time on Monday to respond. It was denied by the judge that Mr Trump’s lawyers would have three more days to present their case.
Shortly after the filing, a spokesperson for Mr Trump defended the social media post and insisted he was targeting political opponents.
He posted the post in response to attacks by “dishonest special interest groups” and political action committees, the statement said.
Mr Trump later described his indictment as a “great badge of honor” at a campaign rally in South Carolina.
During the event, he said he was being indicted “because they’re afraid of us all”, and he hoped to silence his supporters – but if he returned to the White House, America would be free again.
Attorneys from both sides will be called before Chutkan on 28 August to discuss setting a trial date for those accused of participating in the Capitol riots. Chutkan, a noted hardliner, is a noted judge in cases against those accused of participating in the Capitol riots.
Prosecutors have already stated that a speedy trial would be beneficial for the case.
Mr Trump’s defense attorney John Lauro, however, has said his team will need more time to prepare. Considering the investigation itself had taken three years, he found the prosecution’s timeline “somewhat absurd.”
A total of five trials are pending against Mr Trump – three criminal trials for the classified documents case, the hush money case, and these election charges; and two civil trials for business practices and alleged defamation of a woman who accused him of rape.