DOJ Wants Trump Silent About 2020 Election Case Evidence

Judge Tanya Chutkan’s decision will determine how transparent this historic and politically charged case will be.

Written by Hudson Crozier

What’s happening: Special Counsel Jack Smith has asked a judge to prevent former President Donald Trump from talking publicly about “sensitive” evidence in the 2020 election case. There will be a hearing about the issue on Friday.

Why it matters: Smith wants to prohibit Trump from making a case for himself directly to the public. (Many Americans, including Democrats, want Trump’s federal trials to be televised, but it’s currently not permitted by law.) Judge Tanya Chutkan’s decision will determine how transparent these unprecedented proceedings will be.

  • From Trump: Trump’s team calls Smith's request an attack on free speech. “They don’t want me to speak about a rigged election. They don’t want me to speak about it. Whereas I have freedom of speech, First Amendment,” Trump said.

  • From Smith: Smith claims it is necessary to protect witnesses and “the integrity of” the judicial proceedings. He cited a Truth Social post in which Trump said, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!” Smith also wants to avoid “pretrial publicity,” even though he gave a statement last week alleging that Trump aided an “assault” on “democracy.”

Looking ahead: Legal experts believe that Chutkan may lose her patience with Trump and bar him from speaking publicly about the case at all.