Judge Tanya Chutkan recently imposed a gag order on former President Donald Trump. This decision was made during the ongoing presidential election season. The Special Counsel, Jack Smith, had previously filed a motion requesting the gag order.
In their court filing, the prosecutors from Jack Smith’s team argued that Trump’s recent statements have been prejudicial, justifying the need for the proposed gag order. A hearing was held to address this motion.
During the hearing, Judge Chutkan addressed Trump’s legal team, suggesting that Trump’s First Amendment rights were not unlimited. She disagreed with the assertion that the current conditions were sufficient, and proceeded to discuss specific statements made by Trump. Chutkan asserted that the court had the authority to impose restrictions to ensure a fair administration of justice.
Under the terms of Judge Chutkan’s gag order, Trump is prohibited from making any critical statements about Special Counsel Jack Smith, his prosecutors, court witnesses, and other court personnel, even if the statements are truthful.
The order effectively prevents Trump from defending himself against any accusations made by Jack Smith or his team. Notably, the order does not specify the penalties for violating it, leaving it unclear whether violations could result in jail time or fines. Attorney Techno Fog highlighted that this prohibition could penalize Trump for speaking the truth about the Special Counsel, without requiring the statements to be false.