Appeals Court Suspends Trump’s Gag Order, Granting Temporary Victory

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(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) A federal appeals court has temporarily lifted the gag order imposed on former President Donald Trump by District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan.  

The contentious order, which prohibited Trump from publicly criticizing Special Counsel Jack Smith and his team during the trial of the 2020 election case, has now come under the scrutiny of a three-judge panel from the D.C. District Court of Appeals.

According to Politico, the panel, comprised of Circuit Judges Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard, both appointed by President Obama and Biden appointee Bradley Garcia, will examine whether the gag order violated Trump’s First Amendment rights.  

This decision comes after federal prosecutors raised concerns about Trump’s social media posts potentially influencing the pending March 4 trial. Specifically, Smith, along with federal prosecutors, claimed that Trump’s criticism threatened the integrity of the case.

Trump’s legal team has strongly opposed the gag order, emphasizing its impact on his presidential campaign. They have argued that no previous court has ever imposed such a restriction on a candidate actively running for public office.

“The Gag Order violates the First Amendment rights of President Trump and over 100 million Americans who listen to him,” the attorneys wrote in a filing, according to the Hill

Chutkan, who initially implemented the order on Oct. 17, defended her decision by stating, “Defendant’s presidential candidacy cannot excuse statements that would otherwise intolerably jeopardize these proceedings.” 

Her three-page order blocked both Trump and Smith from making public statements targeting each other, the court’s staff, or potential witnesses.

The appellate judges, set to reconvene on Nov. 20, will determine the fate of the gag order.

Trump faces another gag order in the civil trial case led by New York Attorney General Letitia James against the Trump Organization. Liberal New York Judge Arthur Engoron fined Trump $15,000 for violated his gag order. 

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