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Smith seeks Trump gag order over false FBI assassination theory

Robert Burnson, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — Special counsel Jack Smith asked for a court order forbidding Donald Trump from continuing to claim that FBI agents were authorized to kill him when they searched Mar-a-Lago last year for classified documents.

“Those deceptive and inflammatory assertions irresponsibly put a target on the backs of the FBI agents involved in this case, as Trump well knows,” prosecutors for the special counsel’s office said in a court filing Friday evening in Florida.

The former president has been pushing the claim since Tuesday when a conservative journalist reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Mar-a-Lago search warrant included a statement on the agency’s policy on the use of deadly force.

Trump posted on Truth Social that “Joe Biden’s DOJ” … “AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE” during the search. In a later fundraising email, he said, “Joe Biden was locked & loaded and ready to take me out and put my family in danger.”

“Those statements create a grossly misleading impression about the intentions and conduct of federal law enforcement agents,” prosecutors wrote. The inclusion of the deadly force policy “is routine practice to restrict the use of force, and it is attached to countless warrants across the country.”


They also said that by design, the search of Mar-a-Lago was conducted when Trump and his family were out of state.

Smith’s office is asking U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to modify the conditions of Trump’s release, adding language to bar him from repeating his “mischaracterization of these facts.”

The court has an “independent obligation to protect the integrity of this judicial proceeding,” and should take steps “to halt this dangerous campaign to smear law enforcement,” according to the filing.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges that he willfully retained national defense documents, concealed records and obstructed justice after he left office.

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