Judge Aileen Cannon Chastises Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Team In Denying ‘Gag Order,’ Of Trump In Classified Documents Case

The Hill

(The Hill) Judge Aileen Cannon chastised special counselJack Smith’s team Tuesday for what she described as failing to meaningfully reach out to former President Trump’s attorneys on a motion to limit his speech in the classified documents case after Trump claimed law enforcement had the power to assassinate him.

She likewise denied a motion from Trump’s legal team seeking to censure prosecutors over the matter.

Smith’s team filed a late Friday motion asking Cannon to clarify that false claims from Trump violated his existing conditions of release after he said President Biden and the Justice Department were authorized to “take me out” during the search for documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Prosecutors — who like Trump’s team are required to confer with the other party before filing motions in the case — did not do so until 5:30 p.m. ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

“The Court finds the Special Counsel’s pro forma ‘conferral’ to be wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy,” Cannon wrote.

“It should go without saying that meaningful conferral is not a perfunctory exercise. Sufficient time needs to be afforded to permit reasonable evaluation of the requested relief by opposing counsel and to allow for adequate follow-up discussion.”

Smith’s team asked Cannon on Friday to clarify that Trump “may not make statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents” working on the case.

Trump had claimed in a fundraising email that “DOJ was authorized to shoot me” — twisting language from documents prepared ahead of the search of his home that barred the use of deadly force unless agents were presented with “imminent danger of death or serious physical injury.”

Trump’s legal team responded to the motion by accusing prosecutors of failing to comply with earlier orders from Cannon, attaching emails showing squabbling between the two sides.

“There are rules. You guys violated them,” Trump attorney Todd Blanche wrote in the course of the exchange.

Parties are encouraged to confer before any motions are filed in the hopes attorneys may resolve issues before bringing them to the attention of the judge.

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