Trump vows to talk about criminal cases despite efforts by prosecutors to seek protective order

Trump vows to talk about criminal cases despite efforts by prosecutors to seek protective order

Former president says he will continue talking about his legal cases, will not be deprived of his 'First Amendment right'

By Firdevs Bulut Kartal

TORONTO (AA) - Former US President Donald Trump vowed Tuesday to discuss his criminal cases despite a request by prosecutors for a protective order to restrict shared evidence, maintaining his criticisms of special counsel Jack Smith.

Shortly after the Department of Justice requested a protective order to prevent Trump from sharing evidence publicly, he directed insults at Smith in a speech at a rally in New Hampshire.

Trump labeled Smith a "thug prosecutor" and a "deranged guy" just a week after being indicted on felony charges for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results in the run-up to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection.

Prosecutors believe Trump is aiming to influence public perception rather than the legal process.

Last Friday, they asked US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to issue a protective order to limit what Trump and his legal team can share with the public after receiving evidence ahead of trial.

Trump's legal team contends that the proposed order is overly extensive and would infringe on his First Amendment right to free speech.

“I will talk about it. They’re not taking away my First Amendment right,” he said in his speech at the rally, echoing this sentiment.

- Legal cases

The former president was indicted last week by a federal grand jury in the Justice Department's long-running investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump pleaded not guilty Thursday, and his lawyers are expected to argue that his comments were protected speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution and that he legitimately believed his claims of election fraud.

Tuesday's indictment marks the third criminal case against Trump since he left office following another federal case in the state of Florida related to his alleged unlawful retention of classified government documents and efforts to stymy investigators and a case in New York related to hush money payments to an adult film star.

But the latest indictment marks the most significant case against the ex-president to date.

Smith had been leading a longstanding investigation into Trump and his political allies and efforts to prevent President Joe Biden from assuming power after he won the November 2020 polls by 7 million votes.

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