A federal appeals court on Monday signaled it would partially grant President Trump’s request to remove his gag order in Jack Smith’s bogus election interference case.
Trump’s lawyers have been fighting Chutkan’s gag order since she first imposed it last month.
Earlier this month President Trump filed an appeal brief on Judge Tanya Chutkan’s gag order. Trump argued Chutkan’s gag order is broad, vague and violates his First Amendment rights.
On October 20, Judge Chutkan agreed to temporarily pause her own gag order in the DOJ’s January 6 case while Trump and Jack Smith submit appeal briefs.
According to Chutkan’s gag order, Trump cannot criticize Special Counsel Jack Smith or any of his prosecutors – even if Trump is telling the truth!
The gag order prevented Trump from criticizing Jack Smith or any of his prosecutors or staffers, any of the Court’s staff or supporting personnel or any ‘witnesses.’
Jack Smith can leak and lie about Trump – and threaten witnesses – but Trump cannot defend himself otherwise he will be violating Chutkan’s unconstitutional gag order.
The three-judge DC Circuit Court of Appeals panel (2 Obama appointees and 1 Biden appointee) blasted Judge Chutkan’s gag order as they considered striking down or narrowing the order during Monday’s oral arguments.
One judge said the gag order is unfair to Trump because his prosecution could easily be used to attack him during presidential debates.
“He has to speak ‘Miss Manners’ while everyone else is throwing targets at him?” Judge Patricia Millett, an Obama appointee said, according to Politico. “It would be really hard in a debate, when everyone else is going at you full bore. Your attorneys would have to have scripted little things you can say.”
“It’s not how I want my children to speak,” Millett said, “but that’s really not the question.”
“We certainly want to make sure that the criminal trial process and its integrity and its truth-finding function are protected, but we ought to use a careful scalpel here and not step into really sort of skewing the political arena,” Judge Patricia Millett added.
Another Obama-appointed judge said the gag order is too broad when it banned Trump from speaking about ‘witnesses’ like Bill Barr and Mike Pence.
“I would assume that their testimony would not be affected,” Judge Nina Pillard, an Obama appointee said of Barr and Pence.
It is unclear when the appeals court will make a decision on the gag order.