A federal judge has concurred with the government and denied President Donald Trump’s request to suspend the gag order pending appeals.
In the Department of Justice’s federal election case accusing Trump of attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, a federal judge has reinstated a gag order she had previously issued against him.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan initially granted President Trump’s request for an administrative stay or delay on the confidentiality order requested by Special Counsel Jack Smith. The suppression order prohibited comments that would “target” the prosecution and defense legal teams, court personnel, and potential witnesses.
In her initial written opinion, Judge Chutkan rejected First Amendment defense arguments, stating that the duty to secure proceedings from outside interference came before First Amendment rights.
The delay was requested by President Trump’s legal team while the merits of the case were being reviewed by an appeals court. They stated that the ban order would deny President Trump’s audience the right to hear his protected political speech.
The opposition to the temporary suspension of the gag order was filed by the government, after which President Trump had three days to file a response to the opposition, which he did on Saturday.
The judge concurred with the prosecution after hearing arguments from both parties, denying President Trump’s request to suspend the gag order during the appeals process. The ruling was published in a docket entry on Sunday evening, but its specifics have not yet been made public.
President Trump responded to the judge’s action on his social media platform Truth Social late on Sunday night, claiming that his First Amendment rights had been violated.
“The Corrupt Biden Administration just took away my First Amendment Right To Free Speech,” he wrote. “NOT CONSTITUTIONAL!”
In a rare statement of support, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defended President Trump’s First Amendment rights, characterizing Judge Chutkan’s order as “vague” and “impermissibly broad” in restricting the former president’s free speech.
In the New York civil case being prosecuted by Attorney General Leticia James, President Trump is also subject to a prohibition order.
The defense has recently added to its arguments in the election case that President Trump was never charged with inciting violence on January 6. They are attempting to remove from the indictment statements made by prosecutors that imply this is a given.
President Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges that he conspired to illegally interfere with the vote count and obstruct the congressional certification of contested state ballots on January 6, 2021.