US judge reinstates gag order against Trump in election interference case News
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US judge reinstates gag order against Trump in election interference case

A US federal judge reinstated a gag order Sunday against former President Donald Trump amidst his ongoing federal election interference criminal case.

Judge Tanya Chutkan originally imposed a gag order on October 16, prohibiting Trump from making any disparaging statements about potential witnesses, the court or prosecutors ahead of the trial date. However, the gag order was temporarily lifted three days later to give Trump more time to prepare an argument against the order. 

On October 29, after assessing the submitted defenses, Chutkan reinstated the order. As stated in her opinion, Chutkan’s decision was largely based on the former president’s actions since the gag order was temporarily lifted and the court’s belief that without the order, the former president’s speech would be unchecked. The opinion cited two social media posts made during the temporary reprieve. One accused the prosecution of being politically-motivated and the other insinuated that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows might testify in exchange for immunity. Chutkan said that the former did not violate the gag order, but the latter did, as it specifically named someone who might testify in the proceedings.

The judge acknowledged the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment but countered that this freedom is not limitless and that the court must balance this freedom with protecting the integrity of court proceedings.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump responded to this order.

I have just learned that the very Biased, Trump Hating Judge in D.C., who should have RECUSED herself due to her blatant and open loathing of your favorite President, ME, has reimposed a GAG ORDER which will put me at a disadvantage against my prosecutorial and political opponents. This order, according to many legal scholars, is unthinkable! It illegally and unconstitutionally takes away my First Amendment Right of Free Speech, in the middle of my campaign for President, where I am leading against BOTH Parties in the Polls. Few can believe this is happening, but I will appeal. How can they tell the leading candidate that he, and only he, is seriously restricted from campaigning in a free and open manner? It will not stand! [sic]

The gag order is set to remain until the trial proceedings conclude early next year. Currently, the trial date is set for March 4, 2024.