Judge issues gag order limiting Trump attacks on witnesses, prosecutors, court staff in January 6 case

October 17, 2023

On Monday, October 16, a federal judge said she would impose a gag order barring former President Donald Trump from attacking future witnesses in his election interference case as well as prosecutors, court staff, and their families, reports The Hill.

District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan for the District of Columbia said Trump’s status as a candidate did not give him carte blanche to level a “smear campaign” against those involved in the case—saying that “1st amendment protections yield to the administration of justice and to the protection of witnesses.”

She declined however, to grant an order with the breadth requested by the Justice Department in September, declining to limit any speech attacking her or the District of Columbia, saying

The extent of Chutkan’s order was not entirely clear, saying she would describe only the “contours” of her decision, while drafting a formal ruling later.

A Trump campaign spokesperson connected the decision to President Biden, who had no role in the decision or in Trump’s court cases, and called the ruling “an absolute abomination and another partisan knife stuck in the heart of our Democracy.”

Research contact: @thehill