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Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys are challenging special counsel Jack Smith’s request for a gag order in the classified documents case and are seeking contempt charges against federal prosecutors involved in the request. Smith’s office has asked Judge Aileen Cannon to impose a gag order on Trump, limiting his ability to discuss the law enforcement search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in 2022. Trump has criticized the FBI for their policy regarding the use of deadly force during the search, which is standard procedure for all warrants executed by the bureau. His attorneys argue that the gag order request is unconstitutional censorship targeted at Trump’s presidential campaign.

Trump’s defense team filed a court document rebutting the gag order request, calling it unprecedented and a violation of Trump’s First Amendment rights. They claim that prosecutors are acting as “self-appointed Thought Police” and are attempting to control Trump’s speech to align with their views. Additionally, they object to a proposed probation officer’s involvement in determining if Trump’s comments violate the gag order, suggesting that the process could lead to imprisoning a political opponent who is successfully competing against Smith’s preferred candidate.

In addition to rejecting the gag order request, Trump’s attorneys are requesting sanctions against all government attorneys involved in filing the motion. Trump is already under a gag order in a federal election interference case in Washington, DC, and in a hush money trial in New York state court. The special counsel argues that Trump’s false claims about the law enforcement search have put officers in danger, potentially influencing witnesses in the classified documents case. Both the FBI and Attorney General Merrick Garland have refuted Trump’s claims that his life was in danger during the search at Mar-a-Lago, stating that proper protocols were followed and similar procedures were in place for a search of President Joe Biden’s Delaware home during a separate investigation.

Garland and the FBI have emphasized that the deadly force policy invoked during the Mar-a-Lago search was standard and not a departure from normal procedures. They argue that Trump’s unfounded accusations can incite threats and harassment towards individuals involved in legal proceedings against him. Trump’s attorneys maintain that the gag order request is an overreach that violates Trump’s rights and aims to stifle his political campaign. The ongoing legal battle highlights the tensions between the former president and federal prosecutors as they navigate the complexities of the classified documents case.

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