U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an appointee of former President Obama, imposed a gag order on Trump on October 30, 2023, which prevents him and associated parties from publicly speaking against the special counsel, staff, witnesses, or court personnel. This news was highlighted by the Conservative Brief, Axios, and CNN.
The specifics of Judge Chutkan’s decision remain undisclosed, but it’s been a subject of debate. On Trump’s Truth Social platform, he condemned the order as infringing on his First Amendment rights, particularly as he campaigns for the 2024 presidency.
Trump’s posts heavily criticized Chutkan, implying she has an anti-Trump bias. He plans to challenge the decision, asserting that the order hinders his presidential campaign. While prosecutors believe the gag order maintains the judicial proceedings’ sanctity, Trump’s lawyers argue it limits his free speech and disrupts his campaign.
Trump had previously appealed the initial gag order and is likely to appeal Judge Chutkan’s recent decision. Judge Chutkan has overseen multiple cases from the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot, often delivering sentences stricter than those recommended by prosecutors. Concurrently, the U.S. Supreme Court is examining related cases, including those of defendants Edward Lang and Garrett Miller.
They challenge the application of Section 1512(c)(2) which imposes up to 20 years of imprisonment for obstructing official events. If the Supreme Court addresses this, it might influence other January 6 cases under this statute. The core of the government’s argument is that the rioters aimed to prevent Congress from certifying election results. Numerous other defendants await the Supreme Court’s guidance on this matter.