Judge Issues Gag Order Against Trump In Federal Election Case
Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at a rally hosted by Club 47 USA at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on October 11, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
(Photo by Alon Skuy/Getty Images)

The judge presiding over special counsel Jack Smith‘s 2020 election case granted a gag order against former President Donald Trump on Monday.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, made the decision after hearing arguments at a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., telling Trump not to engage in a “pre-trial smear campaign” against government staff, their families, and witnesses.

“First Amendment protections yield to the administration of justice and to the protection of witnesses,” Chutkan said, according to POLITICO. “His presidential candidacy does not give him carte blanche to vilify … public servants who are simply doing their job.”

Chutkan warned Trump — who is seeking a second term in the White House — could face sanctions for violations that would include attacking court staff and prosecutors.

The judge declined to restrict Trump from criticizing the Biden administration or the Department of Justice amid his claims that the prosecution is politically motivated. Chutkan also reportedly refrained on Monday from issuing limits on what Trump can say about D.C., expressing confidence that the jury selection process will address any concerns.

A written order was expected to appear on the court docket as early as Monday afternoon.

During a speech in Iowa, Trump vowed to appeal the gag order, and a spokesperson for the former president issued a statement calling the decision on Monday “an absolute abomination and another partisan knife stuck in the heart of our Democracy by Crooked Joe Biden, who was granted the right to muzzle his political opponent.”

The trial in this case, in which Trump is accused of plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, is slated to start in early March.

In September, Smith asked the court for a “narrow” gag order over concerns that Trump could make public statements that “present a serious and substantial danger of prejudicing” the case.

Before and during the hearing on Monday, Trump lashed out on his social media platform, Truth Social, at key players in the case.


“They want to take away my First Amendment rights, and my ability to both campaign and defend myself,” Trump said in one post after he called Smith a “Leaking, Crooked and Deranged Prosecutor” and Chutkan a “highly partisan Obama appointed Judge.”

In another post, he said, “The TRUMP GAG ORDER that the CORRUPT Biden Administration is trying to obtain is totally Unconstitutional!”

Trump is facing four criminal cases as well as civil litigation. He was previously dealt a gag order in a New York fraud trial. Smith is overseeing another case against Trump regarding the former president’s handling of classified documents.

Trump has generally denied wrongdoing, pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces, and claims that politically motivated prosecutors are conducting a “witch hunt” against him.

All the while, Trump is running a 2024 campaign, potentially paving the way to a 2020 rematch against President Joe Biden. Trump’s legal defense effort is sapping up a great deal of resources as well as media attention, but he is leading GOP polls heading into the primary season.

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Judge Issues Gag Order Against Trump In Federal Election Case