Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Jack Smith offers two theories on Trump’s gun incident

Special Counsel Jack Smith on Friday added to his gag order request against former President Donald Trump, including homing in on a recent incident in which the former president raised questions about whether he purchased a firearm.

Smith filed earlier this month to have a limited gag order placed on Trump’s public speech regarding the federal 2020 election subversion case, arguing that the former president has a history of “repeated, inflammatory public statements” against his critics and those involved in his several criminal investigations. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has scheduled a hearing on the gag order for October 16.

Trump has maintained his innocence in all charges against him, and has repeatedly denounced Smith’s investigation as a form of “election interference.”

In an updated filing Friday, Smith added to his gag order argument, pointing at a video posted by Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung on Monday that stated the former president had purchased a firearm while visiting a gun shop in South Carolina, a potential violation of his conditions of release in his federal indictment.

In the now-deleted video, Trump is shown holding a pistol next to a salesman at the store, saying, “I want to buy one.” Cheung, according to Smith’s filing, captioned the post on X, formerly Twitter, “President Trump purchases a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!”

Cheung quickly retracted his statement, telling Newsweek on Monday that Trump “did not purchase or take possession of the firearm. He simply indicated that he wanted one.”

But Smith wrote that such behavior should not be allowed by the court, as the president faces criminal charges, pointing out that despite Cheung’s retraction, Trump later reposted the video to his Truth Social account after one of his supporters shared the footage, writing alongside the clip, “MY PRESIDENT Trump just bought a Golden Glock before his rally in South Carolina after being arrested 4 TIMES in a year.”

“The defendant either purchased a gun in violation of the law and his conditions of release, or seeks to benefit from his supporters’ mistaken belief that he did so,” read the filing Friday. “It would be a separate federal crime, and thus a violation of the defendant’s conditions of release, for him to purchase a gun while this felony indictment is pending.”

Smith’s updated request also included a handful of recent Truth Social posts by Trump, including his attacks against retired U.S. Army General Mark Milley, who’s exiting soon from his post as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, disproven claims regarding the 2020 election in Georgia, and describing the Special Counsel’s Office as a “team of Lunatics that are working so hard on creating Election Interference.”

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s campaign team for comment Friday night.

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