Former U.S. president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the South Dakota Republican Party rally in Rapid City, South Dakota, U.S. on September 8, 2023.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Friday called special counsel Jack Smith a “crazy” prosecutor after the former president sought limits on what the former president can say about federal election interference cases. They attacked him for being a government official.
“He’s a crazy person,” he said of Smith, who led two federal investigations into Trump that resulted in criminal charges.
Trump, a leading Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination, claimed in a speech Friday night that Smith “wants to strip me of my First Amendment rights.”
“They want to take away my right to speak freely and openly,” Trump said at a conference of conservative Christian women’s groups in Washington, D.C.
Trump has previously attacked Smith in similar terms, but his latest remarks came hours after Smith asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan for a partial gag order in his Washington, D.C. election lawsuit. It was done later.
Trump is charged with four criminal charges in the case, accusing him of conspiring to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
In a court filing, Smith said Trump’s repeated attacks on courts, prosecutors, potential witnesses and residents of Washington, D.C., could “undermine the integrity of the legal process and prejudice jurors.” He said there is.
The special counsel said he was seeking “narrow and clear limits” on “certain adverse extrajudicial statements.”
These include statements regarding the “identity, testimony, or credibility of potential witnesses,” as well as “derogatory, inflammatory, or intimidating statements about parties, witnesses, attorneys, court personnel, or potential jurors.” Included, Smith wrote.
“They’re trying to silence me, because I won’t let them silence you,” President Trump told the crowd in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Smith’s motion cites numerous social media posts from Mr. Trump’s Truth social account condemning Mr. Chutkan, the prosecutor’s office, and the city of Washington, D.C. itself. The indictment also accuses Trump of knowingly spreading “false accusations of misconduct” against prosecutors in the Office of Special Counsel handling Trump’s other federal criminal case in Florida. denounced.
Trump claims prosecutors went to the White House for “improper reasons” before filing charges in the case, which centers on Trump retaining classified national defense records even after he was no longer president. did.
But “as the defendant is well aware,” prosecutors “conducted routine investigative interviews at the White House, the workplace of career military personnel,” and otherwise would said before the trial that the allegations were “an attempt to prejudice the people and the despicable people.” ”
A judge has not yet ruled on Smith’s request, but the bill, if passed, could limit Trump’s ability to disparage the special counsel himself.
The speech was the first of two speeches President Trump had planned for Friday night in Washington, D.C. He began speaking about 40 minutes past the scheduled start time of 7:15 p.m. ET for the first event, the American Legislative Action Committee gathering, which was the annual meeting of the Family Research Council. His second appearance at the summit is likely to be delayed. Religious conservative group.
The trip was President Trump’s first visit to the nation’s capital since early last month, when he appeared in federal court in E. Barrett Prettyman to plead not guilty in a federal election case.