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Setback for prosecution in Trump Mar-a-Lago classified documents case: Judge refuses to impose gag order on the former president

Judge Aileen Cannon explained that the prosecution's request had no solid foundations and lacked "professional courtesy."

El expresidente estadounidense Donald Trump asiste a su juicio

(Charly Triballeau / Pool/ AFP)

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Aileen Cannon, the federal judge for the district of Florida in charge of the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case against Donald Trump, denied the prosecution's request to impose a gag order on the former president for stating that FBI agents were willing to shoot him during the raid on his property at Mar-a-Lago.

Cannon on Tuesday rejected prosecutor Jack Smith's motion alleging that Trump's comments put law enforcement officers involved in the investigation and the prosecution of the case at risk, in addition to threatening the integrity of the judicial process.

The judge explained that the prosecution's request had no solid foundations and lacked "professional courtesy." Although Cannon left open the possibility of considering a gag order in the future, she warned the prosecution that they should try to contact Donald Trump's legal team first and resolve differences before taking their disputes to the court.

Importantly, the special counsel's office filed the motion last Friday, even though Trump's lead defense attorney, Todd Blanche, had requested that it wait until Monday to meet and discuss it. However, Smith's office refused to wait, claiming that Trump's public comments had created an urgent situation that needed to be addressed immediately.

Judge also rejects request from Trump's defense

Although Cannon clearly expressed her disapproval of the prosecutor's actions, she also rejected a request made by Trump's legal team to impose sanctions. This request argued that the prosecution had defied court procedure by filing the motion without consulting the defense.

Cannon made clear in the order issued Tuesday that the imposition of sanctions is a possibility if the court's decisions are not obeyed.

Trump's statements

The prosecution's actions came after Trump claimed that he was shown reports revealing that the Justice Department had authorized the FBI to use lethal force against him during the raid of his home in Palm Beach, Fla., in August 2022.

"[I] was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE. NOW WE KNOW, FOR SURE, THAT JOE BIDEN IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY,” the former president posted on Truth Social.