US prosecutors have flagged a social media post from Donald Trump, suggesting it could be used to intimidate witnesses. The justice department has asked a federal judge to intervene after Trump posted a message on his Truth Social site promising revenge on anyone who goes after him. Prosecutors are concerned that Trump may publicly reveal secret material obtained from prosecutors. They have requested a protective order to prevent Trump and his lawyers from sharing discovery materials with unauthorized individuals. Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges related to his alleged involvement in a criminal conspiracy to reverse his 2020 election loss. Guardian staff reporter reported
US prosecutors have utilized a legal document to highlight a social media post made by Donald Trump, suggesting that it could potentially intimidate witnesses by unlawfully disclosing confidential evidence obtained from the government. The Department of Justice has urged a federal judge overseeing the criminal case against the former president to intervene after he shared a post online that seemed to promise retribution against anyone who pursues legal action against him.
On his newly launched Truth Social platform, Trump wrote, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” This occurred on Friday, shortly after he pled not guilty to charges of orchestrating a criminal conspiracy to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.
In a filing submitted to the Washington federal court, the office of special counsel Jack Smith raised concerns about Trump’s post potentially leading to the public disclosure of confidential information, such as grand jury transcripts, that had been obtained from prosecutors.
Discovery, a legal process, requires prosecutors to provide defendants with the evidence against them so they can adequately prepare their defense. The prosecutors argued that Trump’s post could have a detrimental chilling effect on witnesses and undermine the fair administration of justice in this case, citing his history of attacking judges, attorneys, and witnesses in previous legal proceedings.
The prosecutors’ filing requested US District Judge Tanya Chutkan to issue a protective order preventing Trump and his legal team from sharing any discovery materials with unauthorized individuals. While protective orders are customary in cases involving sensitive documents, the prosecutors emphasized the need for restrictions on public dissemination due to Trump’s social media statements.
During his arraignment on Thursday, Trump vowed not to intimidate witnesses or communicate with them without legal representation present. A spokesperson for Trump defended his social media post, describing it as a form of political speech directed at specific interest groups and Super PACs.
Trump has also entered pleas of not guilty in two other criminal cases. He is facing federal charges in Miami for allegedly retaining classified documents after leaving office and obstructing justice, as well as state charges in Manhattan for allegedly falsifying business records to conceal payments made to a porn star. Additionally, he may potentially face a fourth indictment in Georgia, where prosecutors in Atlanta have been investigating his efforts to overturn the election results.
Trump has consistently portrayed all these investigations as part of a political witch-hunt aimed at impeding his 2024 presidential campaign..