Federal Judge Restores Gag Order Against Trump After Threatening Messages
On Sunday, the judge hearing the federal election subversion criminal case involving Donald Trump restored the gag order she previously imposed on the former president.
Additionally, a request by Trump’s lawyers for a long-term stay of the order has been denied. The order, issued by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, prohibits Trump from publicly targeting court staff, potential witnesses or the special counsel’s team while his appeal is pending.
“As the court has explained, the First Amendment rights of participants in criminal proceedings must yield, when necessary, to the orderly administration of justice—a principle reflected in Supreme Court precedent, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Local Criminal Rules. And contrary to Defendant’s argument, the right to a fair trial is not his alone, but belongs also to the government and the public,” she wrote in the order.
Earlier this month, Chutkan issued the order following prosecutors’ concerns that the former president’s public statements could coerce witnesses or incite harm against prosecutors.
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Trump’s lawyers appealed the ruling, and on October 20, Chutkan temporarily suspended the directive while Special Counsel Jack Smith and Trump’s attorneys debated whether it should be paused indefinitely during the appeals process.
Last week, Trump posted a message that seemed to threaten his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Meanwhile, the former president has criticized the decision, arguing that it violated his right to free speech.
In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump wrote, “The Corrupt Biden Administration just took away my First Amendment Right To Free Speech. NOT CONSTITUTIONAL! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN…”
There are now two orders that prevent Trump from publicly discussing certain details about his legal cases. One order is from Judge Chutkan, who is handling the case in Washington, D.C., brought by Smith, and the other is from the judge overseeing his fraud trial in New York.
Although these orders only apply to specific aspects of the cases, they represent a significant limitation on Trump’s ability to speak about his legal matters.
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