An appeals court has limited what former President, Donald Trump, can say about the federal case against him over Jan. 6. With an order issued this Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reimposed a reduced version of the gag order ordered by Judge Tanya Chutkan.
The new gag has two modifications: Trump will be able to speak freely about Jack Smith, the special prosecutor who is handling the case against the former president for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 elections, and must only refrain from talking about the witnesses regarding his participation in the investigation and his testimony at trial.
In this way, the court agreed both with Judge Chutkan that some public comments by the Republican could jeopardize the judicial process against him, and with Trump's legal team: "The initial order sweeps in more protected speech than is necessary," wrote Justice Patricia Millett in words reported by Reuters.
"People can speak violently and viciously against me, or attack me in any form, but I am not allowed to respond," Trump protested in a social media post after learning of the order. "What is becoming of our First Amendment, what is becoming of our Country?" He asked himself before promising: "We will appeal this decision!"
The fence tightens
A little more than a week before, Justice had reimposed another legal muzzle on what the former president could say in another of his judicial challenges: the case for alleged fraud that he faces in New York.
That order prohibits Trump and his representatives from speaking about the team working with Judge Arthur Engoron.