Trump’s Team Tells Judge Protective Order Violates First Amendment

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has responded to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s proposed protective order, arguing that it violates their client’s First Amendment right to free speech.

Smith’s proposed gag order seeks to bar Trump from releasing any discovery in his latest indictment to the public. 

Trump’s legal team responded to the proposed order on Monday, arguing that the government is seeking to restrict their client’s right to free speech. 

“In a trial about First Amendment rights, the government seeks to restrict First Amendment rights,” they wrote. “Worse, it does so against its administration’s primary political opponent, during an election season in which the administration, prominent party members, and media allies have campaigned on the indictment and proliferated its false allegations.”

Trump’s team also noted that President Joe Biden has capitalized on the indictment by posting a thinly veiled reference to his administration’s prosecution of Trump.

“President Biden has likewise capitalized on the indictment, posting a thinly veiled reference to his administration’s prosecution of President Trump just hours before arraignment,” Trump’s attorneys argued before referencing Biden’s post. “Indeed, President Biden promised from the outset that his administration would ensure President Trump ‘does not become the next President again,’ adding an unprecedented political dimension to this prosecution.”

Trump’s lawyer argued that Smith’s overbroad order should be narrowed to shield only sensitive materials, such as grand jury materials, from the public. 

While Trump’s lawyers noted that their client is not contesting the t the government’s claimed interest in restricting some of the documents it must produce, they maintained that the government does not need a “blanket gag order” to protect the documents.

Trump’s argument comes after Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz argued that Smith’s proposed order would restrict Trump’s First Amendment right.

“He has a First Amendment right — and we have a First Amendment right — to know what’s in the documents,” Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz argued that unless there’s a compelling reason for keeping it secret, the public should be allowed to see prosecutors’ evidence against Trump.