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Smith Files for Protective Order after Trump’s ‘Coming-After-You’ Post

By Jake Beardslee · August 5, 2023

In brief…

  • Special Counsel Jack Smith filed for a protective order following a threatening post by Donald Trump stating, "If you go after me, I'm coming after you."
  • Smith contends the post demonstrates that Trump cannot be trusted with confidential case information and may improperly reveal it publicly to intimidate witnesses.
  • The request comes after Trump was warned not to make threats.
  • Trump mocked Smith as a "deranged, sick person" during a rally.
Special Counsel Jack Smith sought a protective order against Donald Trump after the former president made threats on social media.  Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

Special counsel Jack Smith sought an emergency protective order just hours after former president Donald Trump issued a threatening social media post against those involved in his criminal case.

Trump’s post stated: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

Smith entered Trump’s post into evidence Friday night, arguing it shows Trump cannot be trusted with confidential information disclosed to defendants ahead of his trial. Smith contends the post demonstrates that Trump is willing to attack his critics “by any means necessary.”

In his filing, Smith wrote, “If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details - or, for example, grand jury transcripts - obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful, chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case.”

According to Smith, “Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys and others associated with legal matters pending against him.”

The protective order aims to prevent Trump from improperly disseminating discovery materials, including to the public. A Trump spokesperson dismissed the request, calling the social media post “political speech.”

Trump faces criminal charges stemming from his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. After his post, Trump mocked Special Counsel Smith at a rally, calling him a “deranged, sick person.”