DoJ requests protective order after Trump threatens revenge in Truth Social post

Requested protective order asks judge to limit the amount of information Trump and his attorneys can share publicly

Ariana Baio
Saturday 05 August 2023 10:36 EDT

Donald Trump’s January 6 arraignment: As it happened

Prosecutors in the Department of Justice asked the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s most recent federal indictment for a protective order after the ex-president issued a seemingly threatening statement on Truth Social.

Mr Trump was indicted and arraigned this past week on four federal charges stemming from a DoJ investigation into his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the subsequent January 6 attack on the Capitol.

The day after Mr Trump’s arraignment he took to his social media platform where he seemingly threatened revenge on those pursuing him.

“IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” the ex-president wrote.

Hours after his post, federal prosecutors asked District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to issue an order that would limit what discovery evidence Mr Trump and his legal can share publicly, citing Mr Trump’s love for ranting on social media.

The request included a screenshot of Mr Trump’s post.

“All the proposed order seeks to prevent is the improper dissemination or use of discovery materials, including to the public,” federal prosecutors wrote in the protective order request.

"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,” it continued.

Mr Trump has continuously attacked prosecutors, judges, witnesses and more involved in his many legal battles to maintain his innocence and discredit their arguments.

Before the indictment against the ex-president was made public on Tuesday, 1 August, Mr Trump used Truth Social to inform his followers he expected to be federally indicted at 5pm and called the prosecutor, Jack Smith, “deranged”.

The protective order would limit what Mr Trump and his attorneys could publicly say in order to protect the integrity of the case.

Mr Trump’s campaign issued a statement regarding the request for the protective order saying, “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.”

Mr Trump’s attorneys have publicly used the First Amendment as a defence against the indictment which charges Mr Trump with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy against rights and obstruction of, and attempt to obstruct, an official proceeding.

They have argued that the statements Mr Trump issued claiming there was election fraud and he actually won the 2020 election were only “political speech” and he had a right to say them.

The indictment clearly mentions that while Mr Trump had the right to say what he wanted he unlawfully took steps to try and change election results in his favour.

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