Court Signals It Could Keep but Narrow Trump Election Case Gag Order
A federal appeals court panel is weighing how to balance the former presidents free-speech rights against insulating prosecutors, court personnel and potential witnesses from intimidation.
A federal appeals court in Washington appeared to signal at a hearing on Monday that it would keep in place at least some version of the gag order placed on former President Donald J. Trump in the criminal case accusing him of plotting to overturn the 2020 election.
But a three-judge panel of the court left open the possibility of adjusting the terms of the order or even narrowing the scope of the people covered by it, including by potentially freeing Mr. Trump to attack Jack Smith, the special counsel overseeing the federal cases against him.
The trial judge, Tanya S. Chutkan, imposed the gag order in October in Federal District Court in Washington, forbidding Mr. Trump from publicly maligning any prosecutors, potential witnesses or court employees involved in the case.
But Judge Chutkan explicitly permitted Mr. Trump to criticize the Justice Department, President Biden and herself. She also allowed him to maintain that the prosecution itself was a partisan retaliation against him.....
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