Former President Donald Trump is facing more accusations from special counsel Jack Smith – this time that he threatened Mark Meadows, his one-time White House chief of staff.
Earlier this week, ABC News reported details on what Meadows had told investigators regarding Trump and his actions surrounding the 2020 presidential election. One thing they reported was that he told the then-president repeatedly after the election that allegations of widespread voter fraud were completely baseless.
ABC News further reported that Meadows received immunity for providing that information to a grand jury back in March, protecting him against a federal prosecution for his role. This happened before Trump was officially indicted in the federal election interference case.
Following the publishing of that report, Trump took to Truth Social, his social media platform, to go off on his former chief of staff.
He wrote that he never expected that Meadows would “lie about the Rigged and Stolen [election] merely for getting IMMUNITY,” but added, “Some people would make that deal.”
He further wrote:
“[T]hey are weaklings and cowards, and so bad for the future of our Failing Nation.”
On Wednesday night, the team for Smith issued a filing to the federal judge presiding over the federal case saying that the “harmful” posts Trump made to Truth Social were trying to “send an unmistakable and threatening message to a foreseeable witness in this case.”
The prosecution was trying to make a case to Tanya Chutkan, the U.S. District Court judge overseeing the case, that the threat was just another example of why they need to have a limited gag order in place sooner rather than later.
Chutkan originally issued that order last week. However, she suspended it temporarily following an appeal by Trump’s legal team to a court higher up the chain.
As part of the filing, Smith’s legal team said Trump is trying to “use external influences to distort the trial in his favor. … These actions, particularly when directed against witnesses and trial participants, pose a grave threat to the very notion of a fair trial based on the facts and the law.”
They further wrote:
“[Trump has a] long and well-documented history of using his public platform to target disparaging and inflammatory comments at perceived adversaries. … When the defendant does so, harassment, threats and intimidation foreseeably and predictably follow.”
The gag order that Chutkan had initially put in place prohibited anyone who is involved in this case, including Trump, to publicly attack Smith or members of his team, the legal team representing Trump, people who may serve as potential witnesses, and any members of the court staff.
But, as Smith’s team wrote in their Wednesday filing, that made Trump “entirely free to assert his innocence, claim that his prosecution is politically motivated, criticize the platforms and policies of his political opponents, and level all manner of criticism at various institutions and individuals, including the incumbent president and the Department of Justice.”