Gag Order Issued on Trump in Election Case

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Firm News

Federal District Judge Tanya Chutkan has issued a gag order on former President Donald Trump in his federal election case pending in Washington, D.C. The order bars Mr. Trump from making public comments targeting members of her court staff, special counsel Jack Smith and his staff, and any “reasonably foreseeable witnesses” in the federal criminal case that accuses Mr. Trump of seeking to overturn the 2020 election. Gag orders are routinely issued in high profile criminal cases to insure that the potential jury pool is not “poisoned” prior to trial. In this case the order issued by Judge Chutkan leaves several unanswered questions. What statements would violate the order? If there is a violation of the order, what penalty would be imposed? Generally speaking, a violation of a gag order could result in contempt of court, which could result in a reprimand, a fine, or even imprisonment. Mr. Trump’s legal team has appealed the order  calling it “an assault on his First Amendment rights”.