Trump Ordered Not to Mention Case Against Him – But Will It Last?
Trump’s restricted, but he remains defiant.
By: GenZ Staff | October 23, 2023 | 635 Words
Federal District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan has issued a gag order against Donald J. Trump in the Washington, DC, case where the former president faces charges related to the 2020 election. But now that’s up in the air as the former president appeals the order. Will the gag order preventing Trump – which is currently frozen pending his appeal – go back into effect? And what about the $5,000 fine he faces for violating it before Judge Chutkan froze it?
President Joe Biden’s Justice Department brought in Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate several criminal allegations against Trump, including those surrounding his actions on January 6, 2021. Now prosecuting the case in which Trump has been charged with offenses including obstructing an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States, Smith won a partial gag order against the man running for president against his boss. But the former commander-in-chief appealed that order, and now the judge who initially issued it has frozen it until the appeal works itself out.
Fined for Speech
Reports from inside the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse revealed that Chutkan issued a ruling from the bench granting in part and denying, in part, Smith’s motion. Roger Parloff of Lawfare reported via 77 tweets from the proceedings, revealing the judge’s order. He wrote that Chutkan claimed Trump had sought to represent every statement he uttered “as part and parcel of his argument” that Biden is violating the First Amendment by prosecuting a political opponent for his speech. Judge Chutkan, however, said, “There is a right to restrict language that threatens the administration of justice.”
The order prohibits all parties from publicly making or reposting statements targeting Special Counsel Smith, his staff, Chutkan’s staff, and court personnel. Statements targeting the family of these people were also prohibited. Trump could no longer legally call prosecutors “deranged” or “thugs,” like any other American has a right to. The judge said she would bar “statements about witnesses or substance of expected testimony,” as well. She stated there was an actual risk that witnesses may be intimidated and others may be reluctant to come forward.
Trump then received yet another gag order by Judge Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing a $250 million civil fraud trial against the former president and his business empire. Trump allegedly violated that order by leaving a post calling the judge’s law clerk a “girlfriend” to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Trump posted this on Truth Social, prompting Engoron to issue his own gag order. Trump took down the social media post – and called for Engoron to be disbarred after his reaction – but left it on his campaign website, resulting in a $5,000 fine and a warning that the next violation would result in jail time.
Gag Order on Appeal
Shortly after Trump received the first of his gag orders from Judge Chutkan, the former president told a crowd of supporters at a campaign event in Iowa: “Today, a judge put on a gag order. I’ll be the only politician in history that runs with a gag order where I’m not allowed to criticize people. Can you imagine this?”
On his TruthSocial media platform, he was a little more blunt, writing:
WILL APPEAL THE GAG ORDER RULING. WITCH HUNT!
Now that the appeal is in the works, his gag order has been frozen. It seems Trump is on the hook for the $5,000 for his violation against Judge Engoron’s order, as that’s a separate issue from Chutkan’s. But what will come of the appeal? Will Trump be freed from Chutkan’s order, or will it go back into effect. Also, what does that mean for the other gag order? If Trump is successful in his appeal against Judge Chutkan, it seems likely he’ll appeal Judge Engoran’s order as well.