Judge Releases Details In Limited Gag Order Against Trump
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s election obstruction trial in federal court released details in the limited gag order imposed on the former president, restricting him from making “grave threats” against the special counsel, witnesses, or court staff.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued the rule 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.

Chutkan, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, wrote in the three-page filing that amid Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign, the court found his “statements pose sufficiently grave threats to the integrity of these proceedings that cannot be addressed by alternative means, and it has tailored its order to meet the force of those threats.”

“Thus, limited restrictions on extrajudicial statements are justified here,” Chutkan added.

Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith indicted Trump earlier this year on multiple felony charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The indictment comes in addition to three other criminal trials he faces in other jurisdictions.

Smith requested that Chutkan issue a “narrow” gag order over concerns Trump could make public statements that “present a serious and substantial danger of prejudicing” the case.

Before imposing the order, Chutkan said that Trump referred to Smith as a “thug” and “deranged,” arguing his position as a candidate does not give him “carte blanche” to “vilify” or “encourage violence on public servants simply doing their job.”

“[Trump] has made those statements to national audiences using language communicating not merely that he believes the process to be illegitimate, but also that particular individuals involved in it are liars, or ‘thugs,’ or deserve death,” Chutkan wrote, adding the comments target those involved in the case for “threats and harassment.”

“And that risk is largely irreversible in the age of the Internet; once an individual is publicly targeted, even revoking the offending statement may not abate the subsequent threats, harassment, or other intimidating effects during the pretrial as well as trial stages of this case,” the judge wrote.


Chutkan’s order gave an exception for political speech as Trump aims to face President Joe Biden in a potential rematch of the 2020 election, explicitly exempting him from criticizing political rivals, including Biden, the Justice Department, and Vice President Mike Pence.

“This Order shall not be construed to prohibit Defendant from making statements criticizing the government generally, including the current administration or the Department of Justice; statements asserting that Defendant is innocent of the charges against him, or that his prosecution is politically motivated; or statements criticizing the campaign platforms or policies of Defendant’s current political rivals, such as former Vice President Pence,” Chutkan wrote.

Trump criticized the partial gag order on Tuesday outside a Manhattan courtroom where he faces a separate civil fraud trial.

“We’re being railroaded,” Trump told reporters. “And I have other trials … railroaded. You saw yesterday where they take away my right to speak. I won’t be able to speak like I’m speaking to you, and I’m not saying anything wrong; I’m saying the truth.”

“I won’t be able to do this with that trial,” Trump continued.

Trump’s attorneys reportedly intend to appeal the gag order before the trial begins in early March 2024.

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 Releases Details In Limited Gag Order Against Trump