Judge Tanya Chutkan on Monday prohibited former United States President Donald Trump from publicly insulting the prosecutor and judicial staff in the case in which he is accused of allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 elections and instigating the assault on the Capitol.
The judge of the District of Columbia admitted the gag order requested by special prosecutor Jack Smith to prevent Trump’s constant statements from interfering in the judicial process, although she limited its effects.
Chutkan decided to prohibit all parties involved in the case from issuing statements that attack the prosecutor, his staff or any members of the court, including their families.
Instead, he refused to restrict comments that disparage Joe Biden’s Administration or the Department of Justice, whom Trump accuses of carrying out a “witch hunt” against him.
During the hearing, John Lauro, the former president’s lawyer, described the order as “censorship” and said that it is “impossible” to apply it because Trump is campaigning in the Republican primaries for the 2024 elections.
The judge, however, opined that it is “false” that the imposed restriction represents a violation of the former president’s freedom of expression, enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Deputy Prosecutor Molly Gaston stated that Trump’s defense believes that the former president “He is above the law and can say whatever he wants about the case”therefore he thought that “The court has the obligation to stop it”.
Trump, who faces four criminal charges, has used social media to criticize and insult prosecutors, judges, court personnel, witnesses and political rivals.
Just yesterday, he called prosecutor Jack Smith “corrupt and deranged” and accused Judge Chutkan of being impartial and wanting to take away his “First Amendment rights.”
At the hearing, Chutkan said criticism of Biden or the Justice Department is understandable, but he expressed particular concern about Trump’s attacks on the prosecutor’s family and judicial staff.
The judge did not detail the sanctions that would be imposed on Trump if he violated this order, although she was cautious in this regard. ”Although the accused should be treated like any other, there are certain circumstances that we have to take into account because it is a former president”he pointed out.
The Republican is accused in the District of Columbia of having tried to reverse the result of the 2020 elections that he lost against Joe Biden and of having instigated the assault on the Capitol by thousands of people to stop the ratification of the Democrat’s victory on the 6th. January 2021.
Trump also faces an indictment in New York for irregular payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, another in Florida for having taken classified documents from the White House without permission, and another in Georgia for having tried to alter the election results in that state.