- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2018

Comments by President Trump have robbed James Wolfe of a fair trial, attorneys for the former Senate staffer said in court filings late Monday.

Mr. Wolfe’s attorneys have requested a federal judge in Washington, D.C. impose a gag order on the president, barring from talking about the case in the future. They say it is imperative to stop Mr. Trump from talking about the case because in comments last he month he accused Mr. Wolfe of leaking classified documents, a crime for which he has not been charged.

Prosecutors have alleged Mr. Wolfe made false statements about his personal relationships with reporters to FBI agents investigating the leak of sensitive intelligence information. They have not accused him of leaking any information.

“The President, having proclaimed Mr. Wolfe to be guilty, compounded the prejudice by suggesting that he was guilty of leaking classified information, a far more serious crime that he is not facing,” wrote Benjamin Klubes, one of Mr. Wolfe’s attorneys.

Shortly after Mr. Wolfe’s June arrest, Mr. Trump called him “a very important leaker.” Later, he made a more direct comment to reporters.

“I believe strongly in the freedom of the press,” the president told reporters. “I’m a big, big believer in freedom of the press. But I’m also a believer in classified information. It has to remain classified. And that includes [former FBI Director James] Comey and his band of thieves who leaked classified information all over the place. So I’m a big believer in freedom of the press, but I’m also a believer [that] you cannot leak classified information.”

Mr. Wolfe’s attorneys said they worry about future comments from Mr. Trump.

“There is no reason to believe that absent an order from this Court, President Trump will refrain from again opining on Mr. Wolfe’s guilt as this case proceeds,” Mr. Klubes said.

U.S. District Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson, who is overseeing the case, told prosecutors and defense counsel earlier this month that she expects to issue a decision on the gag order this week.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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