Federal Appeals Court upholds most of Chutkan’s gag order on Trump

December 8, 2023

The Federal Court of Appeals in Washington DC on Friday upheld key aspects of Judge Tanya Chutkan’s gag order against former President Trump.

The appeals court included upholding in the gag order “public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses” related to the case.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to four criminal counts surrounding attempts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election and the related the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S Capitol. During his arraignment, he swore before Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that he would not  intimidate witnesses or communicate with them without legal counsel present.

One day after his sworn testimony, Trump posted on his Truth Social platform, in all caps, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” motivating federal prosecutors to ask for the protective order. 

In a 69-page opinion, which can be read here, DC Circuit Judge Patricia Ann Millett wrote, “Mr. Trump’s documented pattern of speech and its demonstrated real-time, real-world consequences pose a significant and imminent threat to the functioning of the criminal trial process.” 

She goes on to write, “Many of former President Trump’s public statements attacking witnesses, trial participants, and court staff pose a danger to the integrity of these criminal proceedings.”

U.S. District Court Judge Chutkan set a March 4 trial date in the case.

Though she herself has received threats, statements about Judge Chutkan are not covered by the gag order.

PHOTO: Trump arrives in DC for Arraignment, August 3

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