A majority of the judges in a federal appeals court upheld a gag order on former President Donald Trump from making public statements, as he is currently being prosecuted for attempting to prevent the power transition. This ruling allows him to continue criticizing Special Counsel Jack Smith, while still imposing restrictions on other individuals involved in the case.

The decision made by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals mostly upholds a previous ruling by Judge Tanya Chutkan, which prohibited Trump from directing statements at potential witnesses, court personnel and prosecutors.

The appeals court modified the instruction, preventing Trump from making statements with the purpose of significantly obstructing or influencing the case. However, it exempted Smith from the group of court personnel who are safeguarded, allowing Trump to openly criticize a prosecutor he enjoys mocking as “deranged.”

The panel said, “We agree with the district court that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s public statements pose a significant and imminent threat to the fair and orderly adjudication of the ongoing criminal proceeding, warranting a speech-constraining protective order. The district court’s order, however, sweeps in more protected speech than is necessary.”


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The panel expressed concern about the term “target,” as they believed it could potentially limit Trump’s ability to react to individuals who might serve as witnesses in the case or those who criticize his campaign.

The judges stated in their ruling that according to their guidelines, the ex-president is permitted to express his thoughts on books, articles, editorials, interviews or political campaigns related to those individuals, as long as he avoids discussing their roles as witnesses or any anticipated testimony.

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