Former President Donald Trump continued his attacks on special counsel Jack Smith on Saturday, including a reference to Smith’s family, at a rally in Claremont, New Hampshire.
The former president repeated his accusations that Smith is “deranged” and a “Trump-hating prosecutor,” continuing, “his wife and family despise me much more than he does.”
In connection with his alleged improper handling of confidential data and his involvement in an effort to rig the 2020 election, Smith is in charge of two federal prosecutions against Trump.
The former president’s remarks are being closely monitored by courts and prosecutors for what they have said in public regarding the criminal cases against him. He is prohibited from trying to intimidate witnesses or other members of the legal system as a criminal defendant, and a federal appellate court is debating the constitutionality of the gag order that was imposed on him.
In connection with Trump’s federal election subversion lawsuit in Washington, DC, the court put the gag order on hold while the matter is being appealed. However, it previously forbade Trump from making specific remarks about Smith, the other prosecutors involved in the case, their families, and court employees. If he had broken this rule, he might have faced fines or possibly jail time.
Referring to the alleged ill will Smith and his family have for Trump, the former president said at Saturday’s rally that Smith is “about at 10” and his family is “about a 15 on a scale of 10.”
Trump railed against Smith’s prosecution history, calling him a “disgrace to America.”
“There’s always intimidation of everybody at the highest level,” Trump told the crowd, referring to Smith’s investigation. “But I really don’t care. I don’t care. I just want to do what’s right for the country.”
A portion of Trump’s criticism is directed towards the actions of Smith’s spouse, director Katy Chevigny. In 2020, Chevigny gave $2,000 to the Biden campaign. She also produced a Netflix documentary on Michelle Obama, the former first lady.
Smith has not made any contributions to Democratic candidates and is a registered independent.
A gag order was imposed against Trump last month by US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over Trump’s federal election subversion case in Washington, DC. Prosecutors had expressed concern that the former president might use his public remarks to intimidate witnesses or incite harm against them. Trump filed an appeal right away, requesting that the gag order be lifted while the appeal was pending.
A three-judge panel of the US DC Circuit legal of Appeals issued a temporary injunction halting Chutkan’s gag order. This will allow the judges further time to deliberate over Trump’s request to stop the order while his legal appeal is pending.
Later, a federal appeals court lifted the restricted gag order for a brief period of time, restoring his freedom to criticise potential witnesses in the case.
Before Thanksgiving, the appeals court will hear arguments over the gag order.