The judge in the federal prosecution of former President Donald Trump regarding the aftermath of the 2020 election issued a gag order regarding statements about the trial. The order limiting the ability of Trump to speak about his own case could have wider implications for the trial.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued the ruling after a request from special counsel Jack Smith. The order says that the former president can make no comments “publicly targeting” Chutkan or Smith, as well as “any other court personnel.”
Trump is also “absolutely prohibited” from commenting about the families of those involved with the court.
“Today’s decision is an absolute abomination and another partisan knife stuck in the heart of our Democracy by Crooked Joe Biden, who was granted the right to muzzle his political opponent, the leading candidate for the Presidency in 2024 and the most popular political leader in America, President Donald J. Trump,” the Trump campaign wrote after the decision was released.
“President Trump will continue to fight for our Constitution, the American people’s right to support him and to keep our country free of the chains of weaponized and targeted law enforcement,” the statement continues.
The ruling came a month after the Trump legal team requested that Chutkan recuse herself from the case.
The former president’s attorneys argued that Chutkan could not be impartial in the case since she had previously stated that Trump “should be prosecuted and imprisoned.”
“Such statements, made before this case began and without due process, are inherently disqualifying,” the former president’s legal team wrote. “Although Judge Chutkan may genuinely intend to give President Trump a fair trial – and may believe that she can do so – her public statements unavoidably taint these proceedings, regardless of outcome.”
The impending ruling was criticized prior to its issuance Monday afternoon.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a close Trump ally, said on social media that she was at the federal courtroom prior to the decision “to see if Judge Chutkan is really going to destroy the 1st amendment — free speech rights of former President Trump and leading candidate for President in 2024.”
I’m here at the Federal courthouse in DC as a member of the Oversight Committee to see if Judge Chutkan is really going to destroy the 1st amendment – free speech rights of former President Trump and leading candidate for President in 2024.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) October 16, 2023