Former President Donald Trump has been subjected to a restrained gag order imposed by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who was appointed by Barack Obama. This development arises as Trump faces a trial related to alleged election interference. Prosecutors sought the gag order to prevent Trump, his legal team, and affiliated parties from making public statements that target special counsel Jack Smith, Judge Chutkan’s staff, or other court personnel. The order also prohibits the use of derogatory language when referring to these individuals and their families.
Who else out there hopes Trump asks Ken Paxton to be his AG after he's re-elected
No one's better suited to deport all these Illegals now that DACA has been struck down
Time to restore Law and Order on our Border pic.twitter.com/XiMHaOS2pm
— Chicago1Ray 🇺🇸 (@Chicago1Ray) September 23, 2023
While Trump can still claim that "this prosecution is politically motivated," he is restricted from using derogatory terms, such as "thug," to describe the prosecutor or promoting violence against public servants. Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed concerns about the impact of the order on free speech rights. She tweeted from the Federal courthouse in D.C., questioning whether Judge Chutkan was infringing upon the First Amendment rights of former President Trump.
The Justice Department’s special counsel, Jack Smith, supported the gag order, citing concerns about potential jury prejudice resulting from Trump's public criticisms. The case revolves around allegations that Trump played a role in inciting the January 6th riots. Trump has previously referred to Smith as "deranged Jack Smith" and accused him of pursuing politically motivated objectives. Smith is also involved in another case against Trump regarding the handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
This ruling presents a challenge to Trump's exercise of his freedom of speech rights within the context of ongoing litigation. Judge Chutkan has previously cautioned Trump about his comments, suggesting that the trial could be expedited to minimize potential jury bias. Given that a similar gag order was issued against Trump in his New York City case, legal analysts and court observers are eager to see if he will comply with the order this time.
Trump’s legal team contends that the gag orders set a precedent that could hinder his ability to address the numerous cases dominating media coverage of his campaign. They believe this further complicates the GOP nomination race, as Trump's consistent framing of the charges against him as politically motivated resonates with a significant portion of the party's base.