According to Mediaite, former President Donald Trump is facing further efforts by legal authorities to restrict his public statements, particularly on social media, following repeated personal attacks. Special prosecutor Jack Smith has filed a request aimed at providing protections for jurors and prospective jurors in a federal election fraud case. The basis for this request lies in Trump’s recent posts on his Truth Social platform, which targeted Allison Greenfield, the principal law clerk of Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over Trump’s civil business fraud trial in New York City.
Smith’s filing expressed concern about “the defendant’s continued use of social media as a weapon of intimidation in court proceedings.” It highlighted Trump’s recent behavior, where he publicly attacked the law clerk by reposting a photograph of her with a United States Senator, accompanied by a baseless caption accusing her of bias against him. This led to the judge in the case issuing an oral order preventing any party from speaking publicly about court staff. Smith emphasized that Trump’s actions raised concerns about his potential use of social media to research and target potential jurors in the election fraud case.
To address these concerns, Smith proposed that potential jurors undergo a written questionnaire as part of the jury selection process. Additionally, he suggested that the personal information contained in these documents should be safeguarded to prevent any improper use of names or other identifying information by any party.
This request follows Smith’s previous request for a limited gag order against Trump, which is currently pending review by Judge Tanya Chutkan and relates to the federal election case in Washington, D.C. The legal battles surrounding Trump’s public statements and social media activity continue to be a prominent aspect of his post-presidential life.
In addition to the record before the Court from the Government’s previous filings, see ECF Nos. 57 & 64, just last week the defendant escalated his conduct and publicly attacked the trial judge’s law clerk in his pending civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court. The defendant did so by reposting on his Truth Social account — which has 6.4 million followers — a photograph of the law clerk and a United States Senator with the baseless caption, “[Senator’s] girlfriend, [Clerk], is running this case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!” As a result, the judge in that case was forced to issue an oral order that no party speak publicly about members of the court staff. Given that the defendant — after apparently reviewing opposition research on court staff — chose to use social media to publicly attack a court staffer, there is cause for concern about what he may do with social media research on potential jurors in this case.