Before the trial against former US President Donald Trump for election conspiracy, special prosecutor Jack Smith asked the responsible court to prohibit the Republican from making certain out-of-court statements about his case with a “narrow order”. Smith, who was appointed by the Justice Department, justified his application to the federal court in Washington on Friday by saying that Trump was endangering the proceedings scheduled for March with inflammatory rhetoric.

Trump’s verbal attacks against Justice Department employees, the Washington public and Judge Tanya Chutkan have already led to threats from his supporters against prosecutors, the court and potential jurors, Smith said. The ex-president’s rhetoric could have “a tangible impact on the impartiality of the jury.” “pools” from which the jury for his trial is selected. Witnesses also threatened to be influenced by Trump’s violent statements.

Anyone who heard or read Trump’s comments about the trial “may reasonably fear that they will become the next targets of the defendant’s attacks,” Smith said. Judge Chutkan must therefore order the Republican to refrain from making denigrating, inflammatory and intimidating statements about anyone actually or potentially involved in the process. The judge initially did not comment on the application.

Smith listed some of Trump’s public statements in his application. The ex-president made this after he was indicted by the federal judiciary at the beginning of August for his attempts to subsequently overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and thus stay in power. “If you persecute me, I will persecute you!” was one of his statements in online networks. After Smith’s statements, Trump also described Judge Chutkan as a “fraud” and Smith’s staff as a “team of gangsters.” The US capital Washington denounced Trump as “dirty and crime-ridden” and its population was “more than 95 percent anti-Trump.”

Trump reacted angrily to Smith’s demand that he be muzzled. In his online network Truth Social, he wrote about US President Joe Biden that he was an “incompetent person” and that he was using the Justice Department and the FBI “as a weapon” against him with a view to the presidential election next November. “You leak, lie and accuse and you won’t allow me to speak?” Trump fumed.

The trial against Trump is about his supporters’ storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, when Democrat Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was about to be certified there. The 77-year-old is accused, among other things, of initiating a conspiracy against the United States. Trump has pleaded not guilty and has asked Chutkan to dismiss the case because of bias.

At the end of August, the judge set March 4th as the start date for the proceedings in Washington. It begins one day before the so-called “Super Tuesday”. Presidential primaries are taking place in more than a dozen states on this day. Trump wants to run for president again.

In mid-August, a woman was arrested in the US state of Texas for making death threats against Judge Chutkan.