The Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith appealed to the judge overseeing the indictment of former President Donald Trump on grounds of election fraud in 2020 to impose a protective order of evidence on Friday evening, referring to a threatening post by the former president on social media.

The filing was meant to request the judge, Tanya Chutkan to keep Trump from publicizing evidence in the wake of his history with attacking those filing criminal cases against him.

This appeal was filed hours after Trump took to his Truth Social account to post an ominous message: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” This post caused quite a stir and drew criticism from former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who called this move nothing short of “intimidation” in a CNN interview.

The Trump campaign responded hours later by suggesting that the post was directed towards his political rivals and not those involved in litigation. They cited the First Amendment rights and referred to the post as “the definition of political speech.”

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Smith’s filing argued that a strict order is needed to prevent the former president from divulging classified information regarding discovery documents and case evidence to the public.

Including a screenshot of Trump’s Truth Social post, Smith wrote, “All the proposed order seeks to prevent is the improper dissemination or use of discovery materials, including to the public. Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him.”

Smith warned that if Trump is not barred from issuing details publicly, it might have “a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case.”

The filing also states that the federal prosecutors “seeks to provide the defendant with discovery as soon as possible, including certain discovery to which the defendant is not entitled at this stage of the proceedings.”

However, they also claimed that attempts to reach common ground regarding a protective order of evidence with Trump’s lawyers have yielded no result, leading to unprecedented delay in supplying documents to the defense team by the prosecution.

Smith has previously indicted Trump in a separate case over violating the Espionage Act and obstructing justice by mishandling classified documents during his presidency and refusing to hand them back.

On Tuesday, Trump was indicted once again by Smith’s team on four federal charges connected with the 2020 elections and how he attempted to overturn the results with his co-conspirators to retain office.

At his arraignment, he pleaded not guilty.

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