• July 25, 2024

Judge Cannon Rejects DOJ Effort to Block Trump’s Criticism of Mar-a-Lago Assassination Plot

(Headline USA) A week after document disclosures showed that the Justice Department had made plans to kill former President Donald Trump if given any trouble during its shocking pre-midterm raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in 2022, special counsel Jack Smith’s attempt to prevent the presumptive GOP presidential nominee from talking about it has failed.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Tuesday denied prosecutors’ request to bar the former president from making public statements that they claimed could endanger law-enforcement agents participating in the prosecution.

Prosecutors had told Cannon that the restriction was necessary to protect law enforcement from potential threats and harassment after Trump posted on social media about the bombshell, originally broken by conservative investigative reporter Julie Kelly.

In addition to issuing a Truth Social Post slamming the “deadly force” authorization, Trump also sent out a fundraising email noting that the FBI agents who searched his Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022 were “authorized to shoot me” and were “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

Leftist media have predictably downplayed the scandal, calling Attorney General Merrick Garland’s authorization to use deadly force the “standard protocol.”

Some propaganda sites going so far as to qualify the allegations as “baseless,” despite the documented evidence showing them to be true.

The protocol states that the officers conducting the search were permited to use deadly force if they had a reasonable belief that the “subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.”

The FBI appears to have gone over and above its standard protocol, however, even gaming out possible plans for how it would respond in the event of a firefight with Trump’s Secret Service agents.

They also had a medic on hand in preparation for such an eventuality as casualties.

Cannon rebuked prosecutors in her order denying their request, saying they didn’t give defense lawyers adequate time to discuss the matter before it was filed Friday evening.

The judge warned prosecutors that failing to comply with court requirements in the future may lead to sanctions. She denied the request without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could file it again.

A spokesperson for Smith’s team declined to comment Tuesday.

Cannon has chided prosecutors, both in hearings and in court papers, over a number of matters—including telling Smith’s team during one hearing that it was “wasting the court’s time.”

Prosecutors have accordingly signaled mounting frustration with Cannon’s rulings, saying in one recent court filing that a request from the judge was based on a “fundamentally flawed legal premise.”

Some leftist lawfare activists, such as former Mueller investigation plant Norm Eisen, have even hinted at a legal workaround that would force Caonnon off the case.

Cannon previously said when drafting the instructions for a would-be jury that the jury would have to be able to see the classified documents that it would be convicting Trump of mishandling in order to make a fair legal determination, given the case’s entanglement with the Presidential Records Act.

If the jury could not see the documents, she argued, they must assume that it was Trump’s prerogative as president to declassify and take personal possession of them. However, Smith’s team contends that the jury doesn’t actually need to see the evidence to find the defendant guilty since it can just take the word of the prosecutors.

Prosecutors said in court papers late Friday that Trump’s suggestion that federal agents “were complicit in a plot to assassinate him” exposes law enforcement officers “to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment.”

They had urged the judge to bar Trump from making any comments that “pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents” participating in the case.

Defense attorneys in a court filing late Monday called prosecutors’ proposed restriction on Trump’s speech “unconstitutional” and noted that the identities of law enforcement officers in the case are subject to a protective order preventing their public release.

Defense attorneys said they asked Smith’s team on Friday if the two sides could meet on Monday to give the defense time to discuss the request with Trump before prosecutors filed it.

But prosecutor David Harbach said the situation needed to be addressed urgently, saying in an email to the defense that Trump created a situation that “necessitated a prompt request for relief that could not wait the weekend to file.”

Prosecutors told the judge in their filing late Friday while Trump’s lawyers didn’t believe there is any “imminent danger,” Trump had continued that day to make false statements “smearing and endangering the agents who executed the search.”

A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, Steven Cheung, said in a statement Tuesday that “the entire documents case was a political sham from the very beginning and it should be thrown out entirely.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press


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