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Prosecutors ask judge to bar Trump from comments endangering law enforcement

PROSECUTORS in former U.S. President Donald Trump’s classified documents case asked a federal judge to prevent him from making statements that pose a “danger” to law enforcement, according to a court document.

In a motion seeking to modify Trump’s conditions of release, Special Counsel Jack Smith said the request was necessary because of “several intentionally false and inflammatory statements recently made by Trump that distort the circumstances under which the Federal Bureau of Investigation planned and executed the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.”

In the filing to Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida, Smith described the comments as “grossly misleading” and said law enforcement agents who participated in a search of Trump’s estate in August 2022 did so in an “appropriate and professional manner.”

Trump, the Republican challenger to President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the Nov. 5 election, has falsely claimed in fundraising messages sent by his campaign this week that the FBI was authorized to attempt an assassination.

“Trump’s repeated mischaracterization of these facts in widely distributed messages as an attempt to kill him, his family, and Secret Service agents has endangered law enforcement officers involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case and threatened the integrity of these proceedings,” Smith wrote, adding that restriction of future similar statement does not restrict legitimate speech.

The FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort to retrieve classified material that he retained after leaving office. Agents found a slew of records that led to charges on 40 counts of illegally retaining sensitive national security documents after leaving office.

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It is one of four criminal prosecutions Trump faces. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, saying the prosecutions are part a politically motivated “witch hunt” to prevent him from regaining the White House.

Before the Mar-a-Lago search, the FBI drafted a policy statement, made public this week, that authorized law enforcement to use deadly force only if an officer or another person was under immediate threat. Trump was not present when the search took place.

Merrick Garland, who oversees the FBI as attorney general, said such policies are routine and were also in effect during consensual searches of Biden’s homes conducted by the FBI in a separate classified documents investigation.

By JASPER WARD

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