After Trump unleashed a social media attack on Mark Milley, Smith’s office pushed for a gag order
Special counsel Jack Smith’s office cited Trump’s social media post — where he attacked Gen. Mark Milley and suggested he should be put to death for treason — as fuel to bolster their push to put a gag order on the former president ahead of his Jan. 6 case.
Earlier this month, Smith’s team filed a motion for a partial gag-order on Trump’s public statements to bar him from attacking prosecutors, witnesses and others in ways that would threaten the integrity of the election meddling trial.
In a Truth Social post last week, Trump accused Milley, the retiring chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, of conspiring with China against his presidency. “This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!” wrote Trump in the post.
In a 22-page filing Friday evening, prosecutors pressed on the need for a gag order on Trump’s behavior and rejected the former president’s claims that the motion was an attempt to silence him on the campaign trial. Instead, senior assistant special counsel Molly Gaston stated the order would prevent Trump from using “his candidacy as a cover for making prejudicial public statements about this case.”
Gaston added, “[T]here is no legitimate need for the defendant, in the course of his campaign, to attack known witnesses regarding the substance of their anticipated testimony or otherwise engage in materially prejudicial commentary in violation of the proposed order.”
Trump’s lawyers have objected to the request, and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday set an Oct. 16 hearing on Smith’s proposed gag order.
Last week, in the first major lawsuit to block Trump from Colorado‘s 2024 presidential ballot, a state judge issued a protective order prohibiting threats and intimidation in the case. In August, Chutkan partially granted a protective order that restricted Trump and his legal team’s ability to share potentially sensitive evidence made available to them in the course of the trial.
At the time, the judge warned the former president’s attorneys that she would take “whatever measures are necessary to safeguard the integrity of these proceedings.”