Cannon Dismisses Smith's Request for Gag Order

Cannon Dismisses Smith's Request for Gag Order

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith
May 29, 2024

Judge Aileen Cannon recently dismissed Jack Smith’s request for a gag order against the defendant, Donald Trump (R).

In the case, Trump has been accused of illegally taking hundreds of classified documents from the White House after he was no longer president.

Prosecutors are supposed to confer with the defense before filing a gag order. However, Smith decided not to do so and, instead, filed on a Friday leading to a three-day weekend—a move that has been questioned and criticized.

“Because the filing of the Special Counsel’s Motion did not adhere to these basic requirements, it is due to be denied without prejudice,” said Cannon.

Some have stated that the conferral could have been viewed as a mere formality, but Cannon explicitly disagreed with the sentiment, saying that “it should go without saying that meaningful conferral is not a perfunctory exercise.”

The request for a gag order is not one-and-done, as Smith can technically opt to file another request.

Trump is facing a litany of cases and has had several gag orders placed against him. In his hush money case, he received a gag order for his “dangerous” words. 

Judge Juan Merchan enforced the limited gag order to stop Trump from attacking family members of the court or potential witnesses. That said, because of Trump’s actions, some of the prosecutors have asked the judge to clarify the order.

“The People believe that the March 26 Order is properly read to protect family members of the Court. But to avoid any doubt, this Court should now clarify or confirm that the Order protects family members of the Court, the District Attorney, and all other individuals mentioned in the Order,” said prosecutor Joshua Steinglass.

Earlier, in a separate case, New York Judge Arthur Engoron reinstated a gag order on Trump, marking the third time Trump received a gag order during the case.

The civil fraud trial resulted in various reprimands of the disgruntled defendant. Furthermore, after being previously warned to not violate the gag orders, Trump was fined a total of $15,000 for disobeying the judge's orders.

Trump would go on to lose the case and was ordered to pay nearly half a billion dollars.

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Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a writer and recent graduate, majoring in English.

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