Tanya Chutkan, the judge overseeing the federal election subversion case against former US President Donald Trump has reinstated the gag order issued by her earlier this month, CNN reported. Chutkan also denied Trump’s request to issue a long-term stay of the order – which bars the former president from publicly targeting court personnel, potential witnesses or the special counsel’s team – while his appeal of it played out.
She issued the order earlier this month after prosecutors raised concerns that Trump could intimidate witnesses or encourage harm against prosecutors through his public comments. After the former President appealed against the order, Chutkan temporarily froze the order on October 20 while special counsel Jack Smith’s team and Trump’s attorneys litigated whether it should be paused indefinitely during the appeals process, CNN reported.
The former president slammed the ruling on Sunday evening, alleging that it infringed on his “right to free speech”. “The Corrupt Biden Administration just took away my First Amendment Right To Free Speech. NOT CONSTITUTIONAL! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN…” Trump posted on Truth Social.
Notably, Trump now faces two gag orders barring him from discussing aspects of his legal cases in the public: One from Chutkan, who is overseeing the case brought by Smith in Washington, DC, and a second from the judge overseeing his civil fraud trial in New York. While the orders are both limited in scope, they mark a measurable limit on the former president’s speech, according to CNN. Last week, the prosecutors from Smith’s office urged Chutkan to reinstate the gag order. They argued that as soon as the order was paused, Trump resumed publishing allegedly intimidating posts about prosecutors and potential witnesses in the case on social media.
Meanwhile, Trump has said in court that the gag order infringes on his First Amendment rights and limits his ability to discuss the case on the campaign trail.