The federal judge in former President Donald Trump’s federal election interference case in Washington, D.C., says she’ll grant part the government’s request for a narrowly tailored gag order against the former president, after arguments wrapped up Monday in a hearing on the matter.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said she would outline the contours of the order, which special counsel Jack Smith’s team had urged the judge to impose on Trump in order to protect potential jurors, citing the former president’s conduct on social media regarding people involved in his various legal battles.
The judge pushed back during Monday’s hearing after attorneys for Trump called a proposed gag order on the former president “censorship.”
“We are in here today because of statements that he’s made,” Judge Chutkan said before calling for recess.
Trump in August pleaded not guilty to charges of undertaking a “criminal scheme” to overturn the results of the 2020 election by enlisting a slate of so-called “fake electors,” using the Justice Department to conduct “sham election crime investigations,” trying to enlist the vice president to “alter the election results,” and promoting false claims of a stolen election as the Jan. 6 riot raged — all in an effort to subvert democracy and remain in power.
In Monday’s hearing, after Judge Chutkan went through different categories of statements Trump has made — including a social media post in which Trump that called D.C. “a filthy and crime ridden embarrassment to the nation” — Trump attorney John Lauro pushed back, saying Trump’s statements were simply criticizing the Biden administration, and were about “public policy.”
“Those statements can be a double-edged sword,” Chutkan replied.