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Prosecutors Seek to Bar Trump From Attacking F.B.I. Agents in Documents Case


Federal prosecutors on Friday night asked the judge overseeing former President Donald J. Trump’s classified documents case to bar him from making any statements that could put law enforcement agents involved in the proceedings in danger.

Prosecutors filed the request after Mr. Trump made what they called “deeply misleading” assertions about an August 2022 FBI search of his private Mar-a-Lago club and his residence in Florida. This week, the former president falsely indicated that the FBI had authorized him to shoot him when agents discovered more than 100 classified documents while executing a court-approved search warrant there.

In a social media post on Tuesday, Trump falsely claimed that President Biden “authorized the FBI to use deadly force” during the search.

Mr. Trump’s post came in response to FBI operational plan To search at Mar-a-Lago, which was unveiled Tuesday as part of A legal request filed by Mr. Trump’s lawyers. Plan A included: Typical reference to permissible lethal force in emergencies, which prosecutors said Mr. Trump severely distorted.

“As Trump well knows, the FBI took extraordinary care to execute the search warrant discreetly and without undue confrontation,” prosecutors wrote in a motion to Judge Eileen M. Cannon, who is overseeing the classified documents case.

“They scheduled a search of Mar-a-Lago at a time when he and his family would be away,” prosecutors added. “They planned to coordinate with Trump’s lawyers, Secret Service agents, and Mar-a-Lago employees before and during the execution of the warrant; They planned for contingencies — which actually never happened — about who to contact if Trump arrived on the scene.

The request before Judge Cannon marked the first time prosecutors in the office of special counsel Jack Smith had sought to restrict Mr. Trump’s public statements in the classified documents case. But Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly attacked witnesses, court officials and others in his four criminal proceedings, is under gag orders in two of his other three cases.

Prosecutors did not seek to impose a gag order on Mr. Trump in the classified documents case, but instead asked Judge Cannon to review the conditions of his release to prevent him from making any public comments that “pose a significant, imminent and foreseeable danger to the law.” Law enforcement officers involved in the investigation.”

However, if Judge Cannon grants the request, it would mean that Mr. Trump could be taken into custody if he violates the amended terms.

Trump’s lawyers objected to the request and complained that it was filed on a weekend, according to the memo filed by prosecutors. The lawyers did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

It has been Mr. Smith’s team in recent days He is showing signs of impatience with Mr. Trump and his lawyers. The former president’s “deliberately false and inflammatory statements” regarding the Mar-a-Lago search, in the words of prosecutors, appear to have gone too far and require a serious response.

As a preliminary matter, prosecutors explained in their motion to Judge Cannon that the deadly force language misrepresented by Mr. Trump was a “standard and unobjectionable” provision routinely used in “countless arrest warrants across the country.”

This measure explicitly states that deadly force is prohibited except in cases of “imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury,” and is included in orders restricting the use of weapons during searches.

But prosecutors said Mr. Trump “grossly distorted these standard practices by falsely characterizing them as a plan to kill him, his family, and U.S. Secret Service agents.”

By falsely suggesting that FBI agents “were complicit in a plot to assassinate him,” Mr. Trump exposed them “to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment,” prosecutors wrote.

“These deceptive and inflammatory assertions irresponsibly target the FBI agents involved in this case, as Trump well knows,” prosecutors wrote.

To bolster their case, prosecutors reminded Judge Cannon that days after the search of the Mar-a-Lago resort — a legal investigative move that Mr. Trump condemned on social media as an attack against him — an armed man in Ohio attempted to shoot his way into Mar-a-Lago. An FBI field office near Cincinnati.

The man, Ricky W. Schiffer, had said at the time that “patriots” should head to Florida to defend Mr. Trump and kill FBI agents. Mr. Schiffer was the ultimate He was killed in a shootout with local police.

Trump already faces a gag order in another federal case in Washington, where he is accused of plotting to overturn the 2020 election. That case has been pending for months as the Supreme Court considers Mr. Trump’s claim that he is immune from the charges because they arose from actions he took while he was president.

Mr. Trump is also under a gag order at his state trial in Manhattan, where he is accused of covering up a payment to a porn star on the eve of the 2016 election. The judge overseeing that case has twice He held Mr. Trump in contempt He was fined $10,000 for threatening witnesses and jurors in the case.



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