Special counsel Jack Smith has made another huge move against Donald Trump, raising the stakes in what is already an unprecedented action involving a former president.

On Friday, Smith filed a protective order with the federal judge overseeing the case involving conspiracy and obstruction charges stemming from events that occurred on Jan. 6, 2021. The order would limit what Trump can say publicly about the case, especially after the prosecution turns over its evidence to his attorneys as part of the discovery phase.

The filing came on the heels of a Truth Social post in which Trump wrote in all caps, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

“All the proposed order seeks to prevent is the improper dissemination or use of discovery materials, including to the public. Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him,” the filing said.

“And in recent days, regarding this case, the defendant has issued multiple posts — either specifically or by implication — including the following, which the defendant posted just hours ago,” the filing added, citing the Truth Social post.

“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details — or, for example, grand jury transcripts — obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” the filing noted further.

A spokesperson for the former president told The Hill that the post had nothing to do with the Jan. 6 case.

“The Truth post cited is the definition of political speech, and was in response to the RINO, China-loving, dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth,” the rep said.

On Saturday, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected a plea from Trump’s legal team to extend beyond Monday the deadline to respond to Smith’s filing.

Meanwhile, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, Smith “has developed a reputation as an aggressive prosecutor known for trying high-stakes, politically explosive cases. But he hasn’t always prevailed.”

Over a decade ago, Smith headed the Justice Department’s public corruption unit, leading it to pursue numerous cases against lawmakers and politicians. However, legal experts argue that some of these cases relied on broad interpretations of federal law, which occasionally resulted in unfavorable outcomes before juries and courts.


Now, in the most significant case of his extensive career, Smith finds himself prosecuting a former president on charges of conspiring to overturn his 2020 election defeat. In this pursuit, Smith is employing legal theories that raise important legal questions, with some experts suggesting that the outcome could be uncertain in court, the outlet reported.

On Thursday, Smith and some of his prosecutors were in attendance as Trump entered a plea of not guilty to four charges, which include conspiring to defraud the U.S., obstructing an official proceeding, and conspiring against the rights of voters. A lawyer who collaborated with Smith described it as a “classic Jack case”—well-structured, persuasive, and straightforward to follow, the WSJ noted.

While some defense attorneys regarded the indictment as robust and clear-cut, others are of the opinion that the case stretches the boundaries of legal interpretation, the WSJ said.

“This case is clearly on the frontier of American jurisprudence: using general and broad conspiracy and fraud theories to convict a politician for transgressions against the state,” Stan Brand, a defense lawyer who has represented several Trump associates, told the paper.

According to some former prosecutors, the indictment lacks a clear definition of the exact moments when Trump’s actions crossed into criminal territory, the WSJ noted. It acknowledges that falsely claiming election victory is not a crime but also asserts that Trump “pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results.”

However, the line distinguishing between the former and the latter is not explicitly outlined in the indictment, leaving room for interpretation, as noted by these former prosecutors.

Also, supporters of Trump have pointed out that when he beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, she repeatedly claimed that the election was “stolen.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *