Red state leaders fight Jack Smith’s gag order against Trump in classified docs case

by Dillon Burroughs

Photo: Alamy

Two dozen Republican attorneys general filed an amicus brief in President Donald Trump’s classified documents case, calling on the Florida court to end special counsel Jack Smith’s gag order request.

The GOP leaders argued in the Monday letter that Smith’s limitations are keeping Trump from speaking out during his presidential campaign. They advocated that the move created an unfair situation in his comeback bid for president against Joe Biden.

“Free and fair elections in the United States depend on candidates’ ability to speak about important issues of the day. Attempts to stop a candidate from speaking out harm more than just the candidate. They also hurt the voters, who are denied access to crucial information, and the States, which are responsible for managing elections,” the amicus brief filed in the Southern District of Florida stated. 

“And when agents of one candidate seek a court order to muzzle discussion on matters relating to important electoral issues, that restraint raises even more fundamental First Amendment concerns,” the brief continued.

The pushback comes after Smith filed a motion to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to block Trump from making statements related to the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. Trump had claimed in a campaign message that FBI agents were “locked & loaded” during their entry to his Florida home.

The group of GOP attorneys general also argued that Smith’s move would keep Trump from speaking out concerning a case designed to harm his presidential campaign.

“If granted, this request would prevent the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States from speaking out against ‘the prosecution and the criminal trial process that seek to take away his liberty,’” they wrote. 

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird led the effort involving the letter. Republican attorneys general from other states included Florida, West Virginia, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

Cannon promptly shot down the Republican-led effort, rejecting the motion in a short response on Monday afternoon.

“PAPERLESS ORDER denying 623 Motion for Leave to File Brief as Amicus Curiae in Opposition to Special Counsel’s Motion to Modify Conditions of Release 592,” Cannon signed in a court order.

The amicus brief also came after Trump’s attorney filed a motion earlier this month calling for the charges in the classified documents case to be dropped.

“President Trump’s attorneys have filed a powerful motion asking Judge Cannon to fully and completely dismiss the ‘boxes’ Hoax due to the illegal actions by Crooked Joe Biden’s Department of Injustice in its shocking failure to preserve the boxes taken from President Trump’s home in the unconstitutional and unAmerican raid on Mar-a-Lago,” wrote Trump’s Communications Director Steven Cheung in a related press release.

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