Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Judge Cannon Skeptical Over Request for Gag Order on Trump in Classified Documents Case; She Asks for More Evidence

Fort Pierce - Monday June 24, 2024: In the classified documents case in Fort Pierce Federal Court Monday, Judge Aileen Cannon was again critical of the Special Prosecutor’s bid for a partial gag order on the ex-president.

The Government is asking the Judge to forbid Trump from making false claims about the FBI's intentions during their search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to recover classified documents that Trump had refused to return to the Government.

Trump falsely claimed in a fundraising email that the FBI was “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.” Those and similar remarks are blamed for recent threats made to the FBI.

Prosecutors argued that such comments have created "a significant foreseeable risk to law enforcement." They cited as examples an attempted attack on an FBI office in Ohio three days after the Mar-a-Lago search and the more recent arrest of a Trump supporter accused of threatening an FBI agent who investigated President Joe Biden's son, Hunter.

“Deploying such knowingly false and inflammatory language in the combustible atmosphere that Trump has created poses an imminent danger to law enforcement that must be addressed before more violence occurs,” prosecutors wrote in their court filing.

Trump's lawyers say the Government failed to show that Trump's comments directly endangered any FBI official who participated in the Mar-a-Lago search.

“Fundamentally, the motion is based on the fact that President Trump criticized the Mar-a-Lago raid based on evidence from publicly filed motions in this case, as part of his constitutionally protected campaign speech, in a manner that someone in the government disagreed with and does not like,” they said.

Judge Cannon indicated she is skeptical of placing a gag order on Trump. She asked prosecutors if they wanted to provide more evidence of the former president’s words leading to threats.

At one point, reports in the courtroom say that Judge Cannon snapped at the prosecutors Monday during a tense discussion about the gag order.

Prosecutor David Harbach was chastised twice in 20 minutes as he argued Cannon should protect the identities of law enforcement officials tied to the case.

“I don’t appreciate your tone," Cannon reportedly said. She went on to tell Harbach that if he can't meet her standard for decorum, she is sure "one of your colleagues can take up arguing this motion."

She asked prosecutors if they wanted to provide more evidence of the former president’s words leading to threats.

Judge cannon has not yet ruled on the gag order request. She set a deadline for Wednesday for prosecutors to decide whether they want to provide her more evidence.

Prosecutor Harbach said the Justice Department will tell the court by tomorrow.