OAN’s Daniel Baldwin
10:23 AM – Tuesday, October 17, 2023
A DC federal judge formally filed a gag order on former President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning.
“This court has found that even amidst his political campaign, Defendant’s statements pose sufficiently grave threats to the integrity of these proceedings that cannot be addressed by alternative means, and it has tailored its order to meet the force of those threats,” Judge Chutkan wrote.
Chutkan, an Obama appointee, granted a gag order on Trump Monday that prohibited him from levying attacks on Special Counsel Jack Smith, Smith’s staff, Chutkan’s staff, and “any reasonably foreseeable witness.”
“Undisputed testimony cited by the government demonstrates that when Defendant has publicly attacked individuals, including on matters related to this case, those individuals are consequently threatened and harassed,” Chutkan wrote.
Chutkan brought up numerous Truth Social posts made by Trump in the hearing on Monday, specifically citing how Trump repeatedly referred to Smith as “deranged” and called his staff “thugs.”
“The court finds that such statements pose a significant and immediate risk that (1) witnesses will be intimidated or otherwise unduly influenced by the prospect of being themselves targeted for harassment or threats,” Chutkan wrote. “And (2) attorneys, public servants, and other court staff will themselves become targets for threats and harassment. And that risk is largely irreversible in the age of the Internet; once an individual is publicly targeted, even revoking the offending statement may not abate the subsequent threats, harassment, or other intimidating effects during the pretrial as well as trial stages of this case.”
Counsel for the National Legal and Policy Center Paul Kamenar blasted Chutkan’s decision shortly after the hearing.
“These are the facts of the case,” Kamenar told One America News. “It’s a political campaign, and Trump should not be muzzled and nor should the people at his rallies be barred from hearing what he has to say about this political persecution.”
Chutkan denied Smith’s request to bar Trump from “criticizing the government generally.” Specifically Chutkan ruled that Trump may continue to call President Joe Biden “crooked” and label his current legal cases as “politically motivated.” Chutkan noted that Trump may criticize “the campaign platforms or policies” of his current political rivals.
A Trump spokesperson called the gag order an “absolute abomination” shortly after the hearing Monday. Trump briefly reacted to the news when speaking in Iowa Monday.
“What they don’t understand is that I am willing to go to jail if that’s what it takes for our country to win and become a democracy again,” Trump said.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts