The day after the federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s election interference case agreed to a “narrow” gag order the former President’s team is seeking an appeal.
According to reports from The Hill, Trump’s legal team is expected to challenge the order on First Amendment grounds, as the former president has complained the order unfairly restricts his freedom of speech.
On Monday, Judge Tanya Chutkan issued the ruling barring the former President from targeting witnesses, prosecutors, court staff and their families.
Judge Tanya Chutkan said Trump’s status as a candidate did not give him authority to level a “smear campaign” against those involved in the case, saying that “1st amendment protections yield to the administration of justice and to the protection of witnesses.”
During the hearing, Chutkan particularly raised concerns over Trump’s statements calling special counsel Jack Smith a deranged thug.
“I cannot imagine any other criminal case where a defendant is allowed to call a prosecutor deranged or a thug,” she said.
“I will not permit it here simply because the defendant is running a political campaign,” Chutkan added.
A Trump campaign spokesperson connected the decision to President Biden immediately after the ruling was made, who had no role in the decision or in Trump’s court cases, and called the ruling “an absolute abomination and another partisan knife stuck in the heart of our Democracy.”
“President Trump will continue to fight for our Constitution, the American people’s right to support him, and to keep our country free of the chains of weaponized and targeted law enforcement,” the spokesperson said in a statement shared by the campaign.