Faith Gay and Temidayo Aganga-Williams jointly appeared as guests on MSNBC to discuss the latest developments in Donald Trump’s legal battles.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell asked Gay and Aganga-Williams to weigh in on special counsel Jack Smith’s motion to impose a limited gag order on Trump. The proposed order would restrict what the former president could say about the 2020 election subversion case in order to shield witnesses and potential jurors from his inflammatory public statements targeted at individuals or institutions.
Gay stated, “This may be leading us to another aspect of the criminal case, which is an anonymous jury pool or at least an attempt to protect the jurors. Mr. Smith is trying his best to establish a case for why there could be intimidation and why extra steps could be necessary before the [jury] pool is chosen… They’re trying to make sure that the zone of fairness around the jurors is strictly preserved.”
Aganga-Williams noted, “These are very important issues of first impression that Judge Chutkan is considering, but she’s an experienced judge. She’s good at what she does and she’s going to be able to draw a balance. And I think that’s what Jack Smith has tried to do.” Aganga-Williams added, “It’s important to put the onus on former President Trump. It’s his actions that require some curtailing. It’s his choice to speak in this manner. . . [He] can profess his innocence and he can talk generally about the case. But that’s not what the former president is doing. He’s speaking in this violent, hyperbolic language that we’ve become used to and that’s going to be dangerous.”
Aganga-Williams also appeared on CNN, joining Kaitlan Collins for a discussion about how the order might be enforced.
He said: “That’s going to be the real test here. In a normal case, what you have hanging over any defendant is that you can put the defendant in prison.” Aganga-Williams added, “Here, it’s going to be highly unlikely that we have any [pre-trial] scenario where the former president is going to be taken into custody. But the other threat that [Judge Chutkan] has already put to former President Trump is that she is going to move that trial date. . . . With each infraction that the former president puts forward, it makes it more likely that the case is going to move up even faster… His actions thus far are basically guaranteeing the Jack Smith case will go forward in the next calendar year.”
Gay is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Eastern District of New York and former Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Unit. Aganga-Williams served as Senior Investigative Counsel on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Eastern District of New York.