Donald Trump lashed out at U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Monday, just hours after she slapped him with a gag order in relation to one of his many legal battles.
Judge Chutkan, who is presiding over the federal prosecution of the former president relating to his alleged interference in the 2020 election and incitement of a riot at the Capitol, partially issued the order after a request from the Department of Justice.
As a result, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is prohibited from making public criticism about prosecutors, witnesses, and court staff involved in the case, both on social media and at public appearances.
It’s news the former president did not take too well.
Trump denies all wrongdoing, repeatedly claiming that he is the subject of a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
Donald Trump Says Order Is “Weaponry”
Trump was addressing supporters at a campaign event in Clive, Iowa, on Monday evening when he raised the matter of Judge Chutkan’s order. “A judge doesn’t like me too much. Her whole life is not liking me,” Trump claimed. “You know what a gag order is? ‘You can’t speak badly about your opponent.’ This is weaponry all being done because Joe Biden is losing the election and losing very, very badly to all of us.”
Gag orders are only often issued during high-profile cases to prevent what information can be released publicly. Its primary purpose is to protect witnesses, court staff and prosecutors from intimidation or harassment, while also preventing jurors from being influenced by what they read outside of the courtroom.
While most lawyers would advise against their clients from speaking publicly about their criminal cases, Trump is an exception as he’s used his legal battles for political gain. When a gag order is imposed, it can conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
“Mr. Trump is facing criminal charges,” Judge Chutkan said on Monday. “He does not get to respond to every criticism of him if his response would affect potential witnesses. That’s the bottom line here.”
Not The First Time Trump Has Been Gagged
Last month, the former president was struck with a separate gag order in relation to his civil fraud trial in New York which threatens his real estate empire in the state. The order was imposed by Judge Arthur Engoron after a social media post on Truth Social was highlighted to the court, where Trump implied that the clerk was the “girlfriend” of Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I won’t tolerate it,” an angry Engoron said at the time. “Consider this a gag order on all parties with respect to posting or publicly speaking about any member of my staff.”
The post was subsequently deleted after a prolonged lunch break, with Donald Trump banned from making further comments criticizing individuals involved in the trial.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.