(Bloomberg) -- The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s classified documents case denied a request by Special Counsel Jack Smith to impose a gag order on the former president to protect law enforcement officers.

US District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida said in a ruling Tuesday that Smith failed to give Trump’s legal team enough time to discuss the request before it was filed. Although the ruling is an immediate defeat for Smith, his team can make a new request to her after conferring more with Trump’s lawyers.

Smith sought the court order to forbid Trump from continuing to claim that FBI agents were authorized to kill him when they searched Mar-a-Lago in 2022 for classified documents.

“The court finds the Special Counsel’s pro forma ‘conferral’ to be wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy,” Cannon wrote. “Sufficient time needs to be afforded to permit reasonable evaluation of the requested relief by opposing counsel and to allow for adequate follow-up discussion as necessary about the specific factual and legal basis underlying the motion.”

The former president has seized on part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s search warrant in 2022 that included standard language saying agents are authorized to use deadly force only if there is an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to them or others.

‘Locked & Loaded’

The language is intended to place limits on the use of deadly force and was also included in a search warrant for classified documents held by President Joe Biden when he was a private citizen.

However, Trump falsely claimed in a fundraising letter that Biden was “locked & loaded ready to take me out.” His allies have promoted false theories that Biden was trying to assassinate Trump.

“Those deceptive and inflammatory assertions irresponsibly put a target on the backs of the FBI agents involved in this case, as Trump well knows,” prosecutors for the special counsel’s office said in a court filing Friday. 

The inclusion of the deadly force policy “is routine practice to restrict the use of force, and it is attached to countless warrants across the country,” the prosecutors said. 

Smith’s office declined to comment for this story.

Trump and his legal team opposed the request and asked Cannon to sanction Smith and his prosecutors. Cannon denied their request for sanctions.

(Updates with more context starting in the fifth paragraph.)

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