Special Counsel Seeks Gag Order Over Trump’s ‘Locked & Loaded’ Claim

Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s classified documents case have asked U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to impose a gag order on the indicted former president after he falsely told his supporters that federal agents were prepared to kill him.

Trump’s false accusation—that FBI agents were “authorized to shoot me” and were “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger” when they executed the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago in August 2022—was propagated by many Republicans. The FBI, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and several reporters noted that that was a misrepresentation of a basic policy statement, with the same language having been in effect when the agency searched Biden’s Delaware home for classified documents.

Prosecutors urged Cannon to bar Trump from making public statements that “pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents.”

“The Government’s request is necessary because of several intentionally false and inflammatory statements recently made by Trump that distort the circumstances under which the Federal Bureau of Investigation planned and executed the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago,” they wrote.

“Those statements create a grossly misleading impression about the intentions and conduct of federal law enforcement agents—falsely suggesting that they were complicit in a plot to assassinate him—and expose those agents, some of whom will be witnesses at trial, to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment.”

Trump is already under a gag order in his ongoing criminal trial in New York, and thus far has violated it nine times. Trump also violated the gag order during his civil bank fraud trial last fall.

Similarly, a gag order has been put in place in Trump’s election interference case in Washington, D.C., which Special Counsel Jack Smith is also leading.

In Florida, Trump faces 40 felony charges, including willful retention of national defense information, obstruction, and making false statements. Cannon, a Trump appointee, is widely seen as having made rulings favorable to his desire to delay trial until after the election.

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