US Appeals Court To Hear Arguments On Gag Order Against Donald Trump

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
4 Min Read

A federal appeals court is currently considering whether to reinstate a gag order against Donald Trump. The order would prevent him from making inflammatory statements about lawyers and potential witnesses in the federal case accusing him of plotting to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

Prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s team will argue their case before a three-judge panel of the Washington-based appeals court.

The prosecutors argue that these limitations are needed to stop Trump from eroding trust in the court system and intimidating potential witnesses. On the other hand, defense lawyers claim that the gag order violates Trump’s right to free speech and argue that there is no proof that his words have caused harm or made anyone feel threatened.

The gag order is a topic of debate before the significant trial in March 2024. Defense attorneys are also attempting to dismiss the case by claiming that Trump, as a former president, cannot be prosecuted and is shielded by the First Amendment. The arguments on Monday will not impact these constitutional claims, but they will establish limitations on what Trump, as a defendant and potential presidential candidate, can say before the trial.

The order has gone through a rapid series of legal proceedings since it was imposed by US District Judge Tanya Chutkan last month. The order was a response to a request from prosecutors who pointed out Trump’s repeated derogatory remarks about Smith, calling him “deranged.”

The judge initially lifted the order shortly after imposing it, allowing Trump’s lawyers time to argue against the restrictions on his speech. However, Trump used this opportunity to post comments on social media that prosecutors claimed were intended to influence his former chief of staff’s testimony in a negative way. As a result, Judge Chutkan reinstated the order.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has lifted the ban on former President Trump’s appeal.

The judges presiding over the case are Cornelia Pillard and Patricia Millett, who were appointed by former President Barack Obama, and Brad Garcia, who was recently nominated by President Joe Biden.

The panel is not expected to make an immediate ruling on Monday. If the judges rule against Trump, he will have the option to ask the entire court to review the matter. His lawyers have also indicated that they will request the involvement of the Supreme Court.

Trump is facing four criminal cases as he attempts to regain the presidency in 2024. One of these cases, a four-count indictment, is taking place in Washington. In Florida, he has been charged by Smith’s team for unlawfully hoarding numerous classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Additionally, he faces charges in New York state court related to hush money payments made to an actress who claimed to have had an extramarital affair with him. In Georgia, he is accused of conspiring to undermine the 2020 presidential election in that state.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
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Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.