A federal judge has reinstated a gag order against former President Donald Trump, lifting a temporary hold she placed on it earlier this month.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued an order Sunday evening via the court’s online docket, rejecting Trump’s request to set the limits on his public statements aside while he pursues the appeal he’s already filed.
Details of Chutkan’s ruling were not immediately available due to an outage of the court’s system that makes filings and rulings available to the public. Trump, however, appeared to acknowledge the decision in a social media post Sunday evening, describing it as an attack on his free speech.
“The Corrupt Biden Administration just took away my First Amendment Right To Free Speech. NOT CONSTITUTIONAL! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social site about an hour after the brief notice emerged from the court.
Chutkan, who is presiding over special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of Trump for charges stemming from his bid to subvert the 2020 election, imposed a gag order on the former president earlier this month at the request of prosecutors.
The judge, a Washington, D.C.-based appointee of former President Barack Obama, contended that Trump’s repeated inflammatory attacks on prosecutors, court officials and witnesses had threatened to undermine the case and put people at risk.
But Chutkan agreed to pause her order temporarily amid initial pushback from Trump and his attorney, John Lauro, who argued the order was vaguely worded, unmanageable and unjustified.
Chutkan’s order is separate from one issued by a judge in New York handling a state-court civil case aimed at his business empire. Trump has been twice fined by the judge there, for a total of $15,000, for violating a directive to cease public statements about the judge’s clerk and other court staff.
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