The order pits the First Amendment rights of a presidential candidate against the responsibilities of a judge to protect witnesses and to preserve the integrity of the proceedings, which TFG said he would appeal.
What TFG Cannot Do:
- TFG cannot make public statements attacking the witnesses, prosecutors, or court staff involved in the federal criminal case in which he stands accused of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election.
- Cannot attack Jack Smith, the special counsel, or his staff or family, nor can he attack court staff or witnesses.
What TFG Can Continue to Do:
- Disparage DoJ, President Biden, and other political adversaries as long as the disparaging, ignorant, and juvenile comments do not directly relate to the case.
- Can attack Pence, except he can’t talk about Pence’s role in the events that involve this case.
- Can criticize the residents of Washington D.C. or on the government broadly construed.
Judge Chutkan did not immediately address the question of how she will enforce her gag order. She merely said she would assess any consequences for Trump if and when he violates it.
But wait; there’s more!
Trump’s D.C. trial will proceed as scheduled in March
This is significant news as Trump and his attorneys have long sought to delay the pending criminal trials against him until after the 2024 election. But, Judge Chutkan is not having it with any of their requests and has kept the D.C. case moving at an extremely brisk pace.