By Steve Neavling
Updated: 2:30 p.m. Monday — A federal judge in D.C. on Monday imposed a limited gag order on ex-President Donald J. Trump in his election conspiracy case.
Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ruled that Trump can’t make public statements attacking the witnesses, prosecutors or court staff in the case, the New York Times reports.
The judge concluded that Trump’s freedom of speech rights do not permit him “to launch a pre-trial smear campaign” against those people, the Times reports. “No other defendant would be allowed to do so, and I’m not going to allow it in this case,” she said.
Report From Earlier Monday
Federal prosecutors are set to urge a judge Monday to impose a gag order on former President Trump for frequently making incendiary comments about people involved in the case in which he’s accused of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election.
Prosecutors for the Justice Department and Trump’s attorneys are scheduled to gather at 10 a.m. in Federal District Court in Washington D.C., The New York Times reports.
Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who is presiding over the election case, could rule on the gag order from the bench by the end of the hearing.
Special counsel Jack Smith’s attorneys first suggested a limited gag order last month, claiming Trump’s “near-daily” social media attacks threatened to taint the jury pool and were a menace to witnesses.
Some of the verbal assaults have been hurled at Smith, whom Trump has often called “deranged.” Trump has also amplified social media posts that call Chutkan “a radical Obama hack.”
Trump’s social media posts have had an impact. One day after Trump posted, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” a Texas woman left Chutkan a voicemail message that said, “If Trump doesn’t get elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you, tread lightly.”
The woman has been arrested.