Former President Donald Trump has been forbidden by a federal judge from criticizing those involved in his criminal case in Washington, D.C., including witnesses, prosecutors and court staff.

This is the second such order placed on Trump in two weeks.

The first one was a specific injunction, which prevents Trump from speaking about his staff members during his ongoing civil trial in Manhattan where he is accused of overvaluing his properties.

The fresh gag order intensifies the conflict between Trump’s aspiration to run for president in 2024 and the reality of him being a defendant facing criminal charges.

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Judge Tanya Chutkan, who issued the gag order on Monday, said: “First Amendment protections yield to the administration of justice and to the protection of witnesses. His presidential candidacy does not give him carte blanche to vilify … public servants who are simply doing their job.”

This is a significant outcomein Trump’s ongoing encounters with the criminal justice system, which include four felony charges linked to his attempt to undermine the 2020 election.

The trial is set to commence on March 4, and despite his possible objections, the judge has stressed that the date will remain unchanged.

Chutkan’s order will require a significant change in Trump’s public behavior – he habitually uses his social media and rally speeches to criticize not just his opponents but judges hearing his case.

He has attacked lead federal prosecutor, Special Counsel Jack Smith, as “delusional.” Trump has also labeled the attorneys working under Smith as “gangsters.”

Chutkan cautioned that these comments could undermine the legal proceedings. Trump did not attend the hearing on Monday during which this gag order was issued. He instead chose to go to Iowa for a campaign event.

In recent weeks, the former president has openly attacked several well-known critics.

He insinuated that one of them, retired Gen. Mark Milley, deserves capital punishment, and he consistently denounced former Attorney General Bill Barr and his longtime fixer, Michael Cohen. 

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