Trump says a protective order would violate his First Amendment rights: 'I will talk'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

WINDHAM, N.H. — Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday vowed that he "will talk" about the criminal charges he faces over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and accused federal prosecutors of "taking away my First Amendment rights."

Last week, special counsel Jack Smith asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to impose a so-called protective order that would prevent Trump from disclosing evidence the government turns over to his lawyers as part of the discovery process.

Trump's own lawyers chose not to object to a protective order and instead requested that the judge put in place a version that is "less restrictive" than the one proposed by the government. Trump's lawyers asked Chutkan to shield only "genuinely sensitive materials" in order to protect his rights.

But Trump is fighting on multiple fronts as he tries to beat three indictments and win back the presidency. On Tuesday, when he chided prosecutors and President Joe Biden, Trump was battling in the political arena at a rally here.

Trump told the raucous crowd that Biden "wants the thug prosecutor, this deranged guy, to file a court order taking away my First Amendment rights so that I can't speak."

He said failing to answer the media's questions about the case is "not good for votes" as he seeks to defeat Biden.

"I will talk about it, I will," he said. "They’re not taking away my First Amendment rights."

Former President Donald Trump in Windham, N.H., on Aug. 8, 2023. (Robert F. Bukaty / AP)
Former President Donald Trump in Windham, N.H., on Aug. 8, 2023. (Robert F. Bukaty / AP)

In addition to the federal charges related to the 2020 election, Trump is under indictment in state court in New York and in federal court in Florida. He may also face state charges in Georgia, where he sought to upend his defeat in the state in 2020.

Trump has profited from the indictments on the campaign trail, consolidating a massive polling lead in the Republican nomination fight as he argues that adversaries are targeting his political movement.

"I'm being indicted for you," he told supporters Tuesday, a line that has become part of his stump speech.

This article was originally published on