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Tags: donald trump | gag order | appeals court | 2020 election | capitol attack

Appeals Court Upholds Trump Gag Order

Friday, 08 December 2023 02:29 PM EST

A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday upheld a gag order on former President Donald Trump in his 2020 election interference case but narrowed the restrictions on his speech.

The three-judge panel's ruling modifies the gag order to allow the Republican 2024 presidential front-runner to make disparaging comments about special counsel Jack Smith.

But the court upheld the ban on public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the case.

"Mr. Trump is a former President and current candidate for the presidency, and there is a strong public interest in what he has to say," read the decision, which was posted by Politico's Kyle Cheney on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"But Mr. Trump is also an indicted criminal defendant, and he must stand trial in a courtroom under the same procedures that govern all other criminal defendants. That is what the rule of law means."

Trump, who has described the gag order as unconstitutional muzzling of his political speech, could appeal the ruling to the full court or to the Supreme Court.

The Trump Campaign was quick to respond to the court's ruling, sending out a message via email from Steven Cheung, Trump's spokesperson.

"Today, the D.C. Circuit Court panel, with each judge appointed by a Democrat President, determined that a huge part of Judge Chutkan’s extraordinarily overbroad gag order was unconstitutional.

"President Trump will continue to fight for the First Amendment rights of tens of millions of Americans to hear from the leading Presidential candidate at the height of his campaign. The Biden-led witch hunts against President Trump and the American people will fail."

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed the gag order in October, barring Trump from making public statements targeting Smith and other prosecutors, court staff and potential witnesses. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit had lifted the gag order while it considered Trump's challenge.

Prosecutors have argued the restrictions are necessary to protect the integrity of the case and shield potential witnesses and others involved in the case from harassment and threats inspired by Trump's incendiary social media posts.

The order has had a whirlwind trajectory through the courts since prosecutors proposed it, citing Trump’s repeated disparagement of the special counsel, the judge overseeing the case and likely witnesses.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Politics
A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday upheld a gag order on former President Donald Trump in his 2020 election interference case but narrowed the restrictions on his speech.
donald trump, gag order, appeals court, 2020 election, capitol attack
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2023-29-08
Friday, 08 December 2023 02:29 PM
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