Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan has issued a gag order that limits what Donald Trump can say about witnesses, special counsel, and other court personnel.
“This is not about whether I like the language Mr. Trump uses,” Judge Chutkan said, who oversees Trump’s election subversion case. “This is about language that presents a danger to the administration of justice.”
Chutkan argued that Trump’s presidential run doesn’t give him “carte blanche” to criticize court personnel and public servants doing their jobs.
Naturally, Trump said he would appeal the gag order.
The gag order comes after Trump’s incessant targeting of court personnel and the legal process as a whole. He’s criticized witnesses, prosecutors, and even the judges. Trump once wrote that Judge Chatkan is a “Trump-hating judge.”
Trump’s attorneys claim the gag order limits the former president’s First Amendment right to free speech, arguing the gag order gives Joe Biden a campaign advantage.
Prosecutors assert that Trump’s verbal assaults on potential witnesses like former Vice President Mike Pence and former Attorney General Bill Barr could incite intimidation by his supporters.
“The defendant’s relentless public posts marshaling anger and mistrust in the justice system, the Court, and prosecutors have already influenced the public. For instance, on August 5, 2023, an individual was arrested because she called the Court’s chambers and made racist death threats to the Court that were tied to the Court’s role in presiding over the defendant’s case.”
During a recent hearing, they clarified their aim is not to impede Trump’s campaign.
“We have no interest in stopping the defendant from running for office or defending his reputation, nor does our proposed order do that,” Gaston stated.
Gaston emphasized, “This is about the participants, the witnesses, in this trial. It is limited to those individuals, and it is limited to statements that are intended to influence the venue or potential jurors.”