In his response brief to the Trump legal team’s appeal of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s gag order on the former president, Special Counsel Jack Smith referred to potential witnesses as “political witnesses” in a seemingly revealing error.
Last month, Judge Chutkan handed down an unprecedented gag order on the former president that bars him from discussing key aspects of the case. The order has led to widespread condemnation from civil liberties advocates and accusations of election interference from the Trump campaign.
The motion was granted upon request from Smith, though Chutkan soon rescinded her own order after Trump filed an appeal. After reinstating the order roughly a week later, the order was temporarily suspended by a D.C. appeals court.
As part of the appeals process, both the prosecution and defense were instructed to submit briefs ahead of deadlines assigned to each party. In Smith’s brief, his office pointed to a number of Trump’s social media posts while arguing in favor of the gag order.
“At the hearing that followed, the district court reviewed several of the defendant’s social media posts, which fell into ‘roughly five…
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