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Jack Smith's Protective Order Request Infringes on Trump's Free Speech, Lawyers Argue

News on Wednesday, August 9, 2023.

Federal prosecutors led by the special counsel, Jack Smith, have requested a protective order against former President Donald Trump. The reason given was a threatening post he made on social media. However, Trump's lawyers have argued that the proposed order would violate his right to free speech. This is what is known about the situation:

  • On August 5th, the special counsel, Jack Smith, filed an indictment in the Federal District Court in Washington. The charge mentioned a threatening post made by Trump on social media. The legal team representing Smith requested a protective order to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information pertaining to the case.
  • The lawyers representing Trump contended that the proposed protective order would infringe upon his constitutional right to free speech. They argued that the order would disallow him from speaking about the case publicly, which they maintain breaches Trump's rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
  • On August 7th, Smith responded to Trump's counterproposal, stating that the initial government order was ordinary and reasonable. It is unclear whether an agreement has been reached by the two parties.
  • A hearing for a protective order will be presided over by Judge Tanya Chutkan to ascertain the necessity of the proposed order. This occurred subsequent to Judge Chutkan rejecting a request from Trump's legal team to extend the deadline for responding to Smith's indictment.

It is yet to be determined whether a protective order will be issued as the situation between Smith and Trump continues. Nevertheless, this case brings attention to the conflict between the right to free speech and the necessity to safeguard confidential evidence in legal processes.