Jack Smith asks judge to restrict Trump statements after 'inflammatory' remarks about FBI raid

Special Counsel Jack Smith asked a federal judge Friday to bar former President Donald Trump from characterizing the FBI’s 2022 search of Mar-a-Lago as a threat to him and his family, arguing that the claims put law enforcement agents in danger.

In the motion filed to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is presiding over the classified documents case in Florida, Smith requested Trump be prohibited from making statements that “pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case.” Trump claimed in a campaign appeal that FBI agents were “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

Court documents revealed this week that the FBI used its standard use-of-force policy that prohibits the use of deadly force except when the officer conducting the search has a reasonable belief that the “subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.”

“These deceptive and inflammatory claims expose the law enforcement professionals who are involved in this case to unjustified and unacceptable risks,” Smith’s filing reads.

The FBI has said such contingencies are routine and that similar language was contained in an operational plan accompanying a subsequent search of President Biden’s properties in Delaware. 


The Justice Department says the policy is routine and meant to limit, rather than encourage, the use of force during searches. Prosecutors noted that the search of the Florida property was intentionally conducted when Trump and his family were out of state and was coordinated in advance with the U.S. Secret Service. Still, the revelation that the dozens of agents sent to search the home were prepared for potential violence was jarring to Trump’s supporters, who say the two incidents don’t compare since the Justice Department is part of Biden’s own administration.

Smith’s filing cites Trump’s claim that the FBI “was authorized to shoot me,” and was “just itching to do the unthinkable.”

“They invite the sort of threats and harassment that have occurred when other participants in legal proceedings against Trump have been targeted by his invective,” Smith wrote. “Those risks have the potential to undermine the integrity of the proceedings as well as jeopardize the safety of law enforcement.”


The operational plan was revealed when Trump’s legal team filed a motion asking that documents relating to the raid be made public. Smith says Trump’s attorneys omitted a key word —”only” in their motion earlier this week that prompted Trump to make the FBI accusations.

“Although Trump included the warrant and Operations Form as exhibits to his motion, the motion misquoted the Operations Form by omitting the crucial word “only” before “when necessary,” without any ellipsis reflecting the omission. The motion also left out language explaining that deadly force is necessary only “when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.”

“Those statements create a grossly misleading impression about the intentions and conduct of federal law enforcement agents — falsely suggesting that they were complicit in a plot to assassinate him — and expose those agents, some of whom will be witnesses at trial, to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment,” prosecutors added.

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said that “repeated attempts to silence President Trump during the presidential campaign are blatant attempts to interfere in the election.”

Trump is accused of keeping at his estate classified documents that he took with him after he left the White House in 2021, and then obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them. The FBI agents seized 33 boxes of documents in the raid.

The investigation is overseen by Smith, who Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed. Smith has charged Trump with 40 felony counts, including violating the Espionage Act, making false statements to investigators and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Trump has pleaded not guilty, and slammed the case as an “Election Inference Scam” promoted by the Biden administration and “Deranged Jack Smith.”

Earlier this month, Trump called for Smith’s arrest after the prosecutors handling the 45th president’s classified documents case admitted seized documents are no longer in their original order and sequence.  

Prosecutors admitted in a court filing that “there are some boxes where the order of items within that box is not the same as in the associated scans.” The prosecutors had previously told the court that the documents were “in their original, intact form as seized.”  


Fox News’ Emma Colton and David Spunt, as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You might also like
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

More Similar Posts