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 November 4, 2023

Trump restraining order in federal election interference case halted by the Court of Appeals

On Friday, an appeals court issued an administrative stay of a gag order that prohibited former President Trump from speaking negatively about prosecutors and witnesses in his federal election interference case.

This halts the gag order's implementation pending the outcome of additional legal disputes, as The Hill reported.

Additionally, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' order accelerates the case.

Judge Tanya Chutkan determined that the threats and harassment resulting from Trump's social media taunts posed a danger to the case and his subjects, prohibiting him from speaking in a manner that would "target" those involved in the case.

This decision sets the stage for a similar legal battle that has already been litigated in a lower court.

Similar to the appeals court, the court consented to an administrative stay of her order subsequent to Trump's appeal of her ruling.

On Sunday, she joined the Justice Department in stating that the gag order ought to persist while Trump persists in his efforts to overturn her division.

The appeals court's three-judge panel granted Trump's team until Tuesday to present their argument regarding the continued inapplicability of Chutkan's muzzle order during his appeal.

Chutkan's order, according to Trump's campaign, violates his First Amendment rights, which could be detrimental to his electoral prospects.

“As the court has explained, the First Amendment rights of participants in criminal proceedings must yield, when necessary, to the orderly administration of justice — a principle reflected in Supreme Court precedent,” Chutkan wrote in the order.

“And contrary to Defendant’s argument, the right to a fair trial is not his alone, but belongs also to the government and the public.”

The threats these Trump targets confronted were further described by Chutkan, who wrote that Trump's attorneys "never disputed" the fact that his remarks could endanger those he singles out.

“The evidence is in the record; Defendant simply fails to acknowledge it,” she wrote.

Additionally, Chutkan's order was deemed too ambiguous by Trump's legal team, which argued that it obscured the boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable criticism of the case and its witnesses.

Chutkan, in replying, paraphrased statements made by Trump both while subject to the order and when temporarily relieved of it.

She stated that the comments “demonstrate that far from being arbitrary or standardless, the Order’s prohibition on ‘targeting’ statements can be straightforwardly understood and applied."

The former president is currently fending off court cases in multiple jurisdictions, civil and criminal, all while running for president in the upcoming 2024 election.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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