Judge Denies Prosecutors’ Request to Restrict Trump’s Statements in Classified Records Case

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a recent development in Donald Trump’s classified documents case in Florida, the judge has denied prosecutors’ request to prevent the former president from making public statements that could jeopardize law enforcement agents involved in the prosecution.

Prosecutors argued that such restrictions were essential to safeguard law enforcement from potential threats and harassment following Trump’s unfounded claims that the Biden administration sought to harm him during a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, nearly two years ago.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon dismissed the prosecutors’ request, citing insufficient time given to defense lawyers to discuss the matter before it was filed. She warned that failure to adhere to court requirements could result in penalties.

This decision coincides with Trump’s defense team presenting their closing arguments in another criminal case against him in New York related to a hush money payment made to a porn actor during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The ongoing friction between Cannon, appointed to the bench by Trump, and prosecutors has been evident, with accusations against the former president for illegally retaining classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate post-White House exit in 2021.

Prosecutors’ request stemmed from Trump’s recent claim that FBI agents were “authorized to shoot me” during the search of his estate in August 2022. They argued that his false implications expose law enforcement officers to risks and called for restrictions on his speech to ensure the agents’ safety.

While defense attorneys deemed the proposed speech restriction unconstitutional, prosecutors emphasized the urgency of addressing the situation due to Trump’s continued false statements endangering the search agents.

As Trump faces multiple criminal cases amid his presidential aspirations, restrictions have been imposed on his speech in two cases, including in New York where he faces fines and potential jail time for breaching a gag order.

The outcome of the classified documents case and its impact on Trump’s political future remain uncertain as legal battles continue to unfold.

Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press