A court order requested by special counsel Jack Smith which would restrict what former president Donald Trump may say in public about his Jan. 6 case appeared set to be disobeyed by the America-first billionaire.
As reported by NBC News, on Tuesday, Trump promised that he “will talk” about the criminal charges he is now dealing with related to claims he sought to rig the 2020 election. He also accused federal prosecutors of “taking away my First Amendment rights.”
NBC also said:
Last week, Special Counsel Jack Smith asked U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to impose a so-called protective order that would prevent Trump from disclosing evidence the government turns over to his lawyers as part of the discovery process.
Trump’s own lawyers chose not to object to a protective order and instead requested that the judge put in place a version that is “less restrictive” than the one proposed by the government. Trump’s lawyers asked Chutkan to shield only “genuinely sensitive materials” in order to protect his rights.
But Trump is fighting on multiple fronts as he tries to beat three indictments and win back the presidency. On Tuesday, when he chided prosecutors and President Joe Biden, Trump was battling in the political arena at a rally here.
To a boisterous crowd in Windham, New Hampshire, Trump declared that President Joe Biden “wants the thug prosecutor, this deranged guy, to file a court order taking away my First Amendment rights so that I can’t speak.”
As he prepares for another showdown with Biden in 2024, he noted that refusing to respond to questions from the media regarding the issue is “not good for votes.”
“I will talk about it, I will. They’re not taking away my First Amendment rights,” he promised.
In addition to the federal accusations related to the 2020 election, Trump is also charged with crimes in Florida federal court and New York state court. In Georgia, where he sought to challenge his defeat in the 2020 election, the prospect of state charges also hangs over him.
According to Mediaite, Chutkan turned down a request from Trump’s legal team on Monday to postpone the hearing on the potential protection order over the deadline she had originally scheduled for Friday.
Trump’s lawyers said they were extremely busy and requested a postponement, despite Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team saying they were ready for a hearing anytime this week.
“President Trump will not appear. However, he would like to have both his counsel John Lauro and Todd Blanche at the hearing. Todd Blanche is not available on Thursday, since he must appear for a court proceeding in the prosecution brought against the same defendant, President Trump, by the Special Counsel in SD Florida. Mr. Lauro is available on Thursday, with a preference for an afternoon setting. However, since we lost Friday as an option, we would respectfully request a setting on Monday (after 12:00 p.m.) or Tuesday (all day) to allow for both Mr. Blanche and Mr. Lauro to be present,” Trump’s attorneys said in their plea,” Trump’s attorneys stated in their petition.
Bill O’Reilly, a friend of Trump’s and a past Fox News personality, said on Tuesday that there is a single witness who might bring him down in the Jan. 6 case.
“So there’s only one guy that can convict Donald Trump, and that’s Mike Pence,” he asserted. “If Pence goes into the courtroom and says ‘Donald Trump knew the election was not a fraud, but he said it anyway, and I can prove it, and here’s the proof,’ Donald Trump goes down.”
Although he acknowledged that he doubted that Pence could produce evidence, he said that “If somebody like Mark Meadows would say ‘Yeah, I was in the same conversation and Trump said X, Y, and Z,’ the jury in the trial, whatever gets there, that would be really damning.”
At least one interview this week concentrated on the funding and expenditure of Trump’s political action committee.
The grand jury that charged Trump last week, however, was seen convening on Tuesday in the federal courtroom in Washington.
According to Bernard Kerik’s attorney, Tim Parlatore, who was present for the interview and provided details to POLITICO, investigators questioned Kerik extensively about the Save America PAC’s massive fundraising haul in the weeks preceding the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
From Election Day through January 6, everything is in focus, according to Parlatore.
It has long been assumed that the special counsel is investigating whether Trump or his PAC broke the law by raising money from bogus voter fraud claims while knowing they were fake. Trump was indicted last week on charges that he plotted to rig the 2020 presidential election, but no claims of financial misconduct were made.
However, the interview with Kerik, a steadfast ally of Rudy Giuliani’s, demonstrates that Smith’s team is still compiling data about how Trump and his associates handled the immediate aftermath of the election and that the probe’s focus on Trump-related funds is still active. In the weeks preceding Jan. 6, Kerik, who was New York City’s police commissioner when Giuliani was mayor, assisted Giuliani in his efforts to challenge the election results.