OAN’s Sophia Flores
1:54 PM – Friday, December 8, 2023
A federal appeals court has largely upheld a gag order placed on former President Donald Trump. The order limits what the 45th president is able to express in speech and social media posts regarding his federal case involving his alleged attempts to interfere in the 2020 election.
On Friday, a unanimous three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the order made by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan.
“We do not allow such an order lightly. 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. 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,” U.S. Circuit Judge Patricia Millett wrote for the three-judge panel.
The order bars Trump from making public statements about potential witnesses in the case “concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.” Additionally, the Republican 2024 front-runner is not allowed to make comments about any legal defense involved in the case.
However, Trump is still granted permission to make statements that criticize Special Counsel Jack Smith, the Biden administration, and the Justice Department. He is also able to express his innocence and assert that the case is a “politically-motivated witch hunt.”
The 45th president is being accused of allegedly attempting to block the transfer of power and of broadening his ability to attack Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Trump’s legal team promptly issued a statement:
“We agree with the district court that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s public statements pose a significant and imminent threat to the fair and orderly adjudication of the ongoing criminal proceeding, warranting a speech-constraining protective order. The district court’s order, however, sweeps in more protected speech than is necessary. For that reason, we affirm the district court’s order in part and vacate it in part. Specifically, the Order is affirmed to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding,” Trump’s team stated.
The former president is allowed to appeal the decision to a D.C. Circuit. He can also appeal it by seeking emergency relief from the Supreme Court.
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