A federal judge issued a partial gag order against former U.S. President Donald Trump in his Jan. 6 case, set to go to trial next March.
According to reporters inside the courthouse, Judge Tanya Chutkan’s gag order will limit all parties from making or reposting any statements publicly targeting the special counsel, his staff, the judge’s staff or court personnel.
Prosecutors had argued that even though Trump’s statements were not criminally threatening, his rhetoric has the potential to incite his supports to harass those working on the case.
Trump has repeatedly been accused of attacking and harassing officials overseeing his multiple criminal and civil cases. His attorneys have argued that the former president is protected by the First Amendment and that he does not always mean what he posts on social media.
Chutkan did not extend the gag order to disparaging Washington, D.C. — where the jury pool will be selected from — and officials from the Justice Department, despite prosecutors’ request for these to be included in the order.
She had previously warned Trump to show restraint in his comments and threatened to impose a gag order when he was first arraigned in August.
Trump is likely to appeal the order, according to New York Times’ legal analysts. That could happen immediately, whereby his lawyers argue it is a constitutional violation of his First Amendment rights in the abstract. He could also appeal after being fined for violating the gag order in the context of whatever he said specifically, the analysts predicted.
He faces a similar gag order in his New York civil fraud trial after attacking a member of the court’s staff.