DC Judge Issues Partial Gag Order Against Trump

Former US President Donald Trump attends the third day of his civil fraud trial in New York on October 4, 2023. (Photo by SPENCER PLATT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Former President Trump now faces some limits on what he can say about people involved in the D.C. election reversal case, according to reports from the D.C. federal courthouse.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan for the District of Columbia reportedly barred Trump and all other parties from attacking a few categories of people involved in the election reversal case she’s presiding over, including court staff, prosecutors, and their families. That ban does not apply to statements about the Biden Administration and supposed politicization at the DOJ, according to Lawfare’s Roger Parloff.

It’s an extremely significant ban for a man who built a business career and political machine around his gift for unfettered speech, and who has spent years bullying and threatening potential witnesses in civil and criminal investigations into his actions.

That tactic of browbeating people, often by making examples of certain figures, came to a head in recent weeks as the federal and Georgia criminal cases against Trump grind on and as New York Attorney General Tish James (D)’s civil fraud trial progresses.

Trump has cast wild aspersions on the Fulton County DA’s personal life, suggested that former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley should be executed, and slandered a clerk of the Manhattan judge trying the civil case. That last episode prompted the judge to issue a gag order on Trump from the bench.

The decision left room for Trump to adopt his familiar pose of a victim, besieged by a supposedly politicized DOJ and vindictive Biden administration. Within an hour of the bench ruling, Trump’s campaign issued a statement exactly to that effect, describing the ruling as “another partisan knife stuck in the heart of our Democracy by Crooked Joe Biden, who was granted the right to muzzle his political opponent.”

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