Judge Cannon Chastises Special Counsel For Gag Order Request

In a recent development, United States District Judge Aileen Cannon rejected special counsel Jack Smith’s request to place a gag order against former President Donald Trump (R). The judge described Smith’s team’s motion as “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.”

Smith’s team had claimed the gag order was necessary due to Trump’s “false and inflammatory statements” regarding the FBI’s search warrant execution at Mar-a-Lago. They argued his posts gave a “grossly misleading impression” about federal law enforcement agents’ intentions and conduct.

However, Trump’s defense team responded that the prosecution had demonstrated “bad-faith behavior” by filing the motion just before the holiday weekend. They called it an “extraordinary, unprecedented, and unconstitutional censorship application” aimed at targeting Trump’s speech as a presidential candidate.

In her decision, Cannon threatened Smith’s team with sanctions, stating “Failure to comply with these requirements may result in sanctions.” She emphasized that meaningful conferral between parties is not a perfunctory exercise.

The judge’s order highlights the cumbersome filing process that has repeatedly plagued the classified documents case as it inches towards trial. Legal experts, while often critical of Cannon’s approach, agreed she was right in this instance to enforce the court’s local rules for meeting and conferring.

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