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Trump’s lawyers rip Jack Smith’s defense of gag order: ‘An argument that would flunk first-grade math’

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

Former president Donald Trump’s lawyers tore into Special Counsel Jack Smith’s defense of Trump’s gag order in a scathing brief Friday, saying his argument would “flunk first-grade math.”

Trump’s lawyers wrote that the defense raised by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office “fails at every step” and violates “a long list of the First Amendment’s most basic doctrines.” Their 37-page Friday filing accuses prosecutors of relying on “hearsay media reports as a substitute for evidence,” which they say highlights the “glaring evidentiary gaps in its case.”

“The Gag Order installs a single federal judge as a barrier between the leading candidate for President, President Donald J. Trump, and every American across the country,” his lawyers wrote. “The district court had no business inserting itself into the Presidential election, just weeks before the Iowa caucuses. The First Amendment does not permit the district court to micromanage President Trump’s core political speech, nor to dictate what speech is sufficiently ‘general’ and what speech is too ‘targeted’ for the court’s liking.”

His lawyers slammed prosecutors’ reliance on “naked speculation” in their only piece of evidence backing the claim that his statements will lead to the threats, harassment and efforts to intimidate witnesses and parties to the case.

In prosecutors’ brief defending the order, they pointed to an Aug. 4 Truth Social post where Trump said, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” noting that an individual threatened Judge Tanya Chutkan the day after Trump’s post. Trump’s lawyers said Friday that the statement had nothing to do with the judge, and Trump did not directly criticize Chutkan until after the incident.

“Aside from this, the prosecution does not identify any instance of supposed threats, harassment, or intimidation to any prosecutor, witness, or court staff in this case—despite months of public commentary on the case by President Trump,” they wrote.

Their arguments suffer “from other yawning logical gaps,” the filing continues.

“The prosecution relies heavily on a parallel gag order entered in New York court, which has now been stayed pending appeal,” Trump’s lawyers wrote, referencing a New York appeals judge’s decision to temporarily pause the order in his civil fraud case. “The prosecution contends that silencing a political candidate with over 100 million followers imposes an ‘equal’ injury as silencing a single speaker—an argument that would flunk first-grade math.”

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments for Trump’s appeal of the order on Monday. The three-judge panel who will hear arguments includes Judges Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard, Obama appointees, and Judge Bradley Garcia, a Biden appointee.

Groups of all political stripes have voiced opposition to the gag order, from the liberal American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to a coalition of 18 Republican state attorneys general.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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