Home Entertainment Donald Trump Cannot Terrorize Prosecutors, Witnesses in Federal Election Case: Judge

Donald Trump Cannot Terrorize Prosecutors, Witnesses in Federal Election Case: Judge

by Mat Lee
0 comment 3 minutes read
Donald Trump Cannot Terrorize Prosecutors, Witnesses in Federal Election Case: Judge

Donald Trump’s days of raging against special counsel Jack Smith, court staff, and witnesses in the federal election case against him came to an end on Monday, when Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a limited gag order on the ex-president. “Mr. Trump is a criminal defendant,” Chutkan said during a hearing on Monday. “He is facing four felony charges. He is under the supervision of the criminal justice system and he must follow his conditions of release. He does not have the right to say and do exactly what he pleases.” She added: “This is not about whether I like the language Mr. Trump uses. This is about language that presents a danger to the administration of justice.”

Smith’s team had requested a gag order on Trump last month, saying in a court filing that he had posted or shared comments “attacking the citizens of the District of Columbia, the Court, prosecutors, and prospective witnesses,” and that in doing so, he “threatens to undermine the integrity of these proceedings and prejudice the jury pool.” Prosecutors also noted that Trump‘s inflammatory remarks have seemingly inspired real threats of violence. “The defendant’s relentless public posts marshaling anger and mistrust in the justice system, the Court, and prosecutors have already influenced the public,” they wrote. “For instance, on August 5, 2023, an individual was arrested because she called the Court’s chambers and made racist death threats to the Court that were tied to the Court’s role in presiding over the defendant’s case.”

In her order on Monday, Chutkan made clear that the ex-president is still free to make disparaging remarks about Joe Biden, Washington, DC, (where the trial will take place), and the Justice Department in general (but not single out individual prosecutors or their family members). According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, shortly after Chutkan imposed the order, Trump’s campaign sent out a fundraising email falsely claiming, “A GAG ORDER HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN IMPOSED ON ME AT THE REQUEST OF JOE BIDEN.”

This is not the first time a judge has issued a gag order on Trump. Earlier this month, Judge Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing the fraud trial in New York, banned the ex-president from making comments about his staff. That came after Trump, per The New York Times, “posted a photograph of the judge’s law clerk on his social media platform with Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic majority leader, and falsely stated she was Mr. Schumer’s girlfriend.”

Chutkan has not said how she will enforce the order, should Trump violate it. As the Times notes, penalties generally “range from a reprimand or a fine to jail time.”

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Mat Lee
Author: Mat Lee

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