a day after hear arguments A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit appeared unwilling to void a gag order issued at a lower level by an attorney for Donald Trump, as well as an attorney from the office of special counsel Jack Smith. . court. However, he indicated that the order may have little impact on Trump.
Judge Tanya Chutkan in October placed a stop order On Donald Trump that restricted his ability to target court employees, potential witnesses, and members of the special counsel’s office. Trump was still free to make all kinds of comments about the unfairness of the trial, to spread false claims about President Joe Biden starting the case and to insult both the city and citizens of Washington, D.C. He just didn’t name drop it. Could. People involved in the case and have repeatedly faced threats from Trump supporters engaged in acts of violence,
Four days later, the appeals court put a gag order on ice, freeing Trump to resume his attacks on Smith, Chutkan and potential witnesses. Trump’s legal team then filed a petition with the court in which they argued that Chutkan had involved himself in the 2024 election and requested that the appeals court overturn the gag order. But based on the judges’ questions, it doesn’t seem like the hearing went that well for Trump.
The three judges who heard the arguments were Patricia Millett, Cornelia Pillard and Bradley Garcia. All three were appointed by Democratic presidents. Both Millet and Paillard have issued significant decisions in response to the issues. defendant around 6 january and trump’s Management of classified documents,
Trump’s legal team in this hearing was led by former Solicitor General of Missouri John Sawyer. Sawyer began by arguing that Chutkan’s ban order “is unprecedented and it sets a terrible precedent for future restrictions on mainstream political speech” because Trump is not an ordinary defendant, but rather “a campaigner for public office.” I am too.”
Sawyer argued against considering Trump’s actions on January 6 or the month following his defeat in the 2020 election, because those events are from three years ago and should not be used to infer whether Trump is current. What to do in the situation – Which sounds like anyone with a record of violent statements would love to receive such an honor.
However, during the first round of questioning by the judges, Sawyer claimed that even if Trump were not running for office, the gag order would still be unconstitutional.
Millett: “You would think that whether there’s a political campaign going on or not, the outcome should be exactly the same.”
This appears to negate much of their initial argument, which relied heavily on the idea that Trump was a presidential candidate and that restrictions on his speech would need to be held to a higher standard than ordinary defendants. Needed
The judges also noted that while Sauer had claimed that Chutkan could not issue a restraining order because of concerns that a Trump supporter might one day act on her complaints, these fears were far from principled. Trump supporter Abigail who has Mr. already charged Along with making racist threats against Chutkan.
Millett: “The day after he said, ‘If you come after me, I’ll come after you,’ that threat was issued.”
Sawyer insisted that there was no evidence that Mr. had read Trump’s posts on Truth Social.
During most of the interrogations, it was Millet who most readily interrupted Sauer when she felt he was being repetitive or avoiding questions. When Sawyer again claimed that the gag order represents a violation of Trump’s free speech rights and tried to make a broader claim about a threat to the First Amendment, Millett made the most significant point of the day in terms of signaling Gave statement. Position of the Court of Appeal:
Millett: “We’re not shutting down everyone who speaks out. …It is only temporarily influencing the speech of someone who has been convicted as a criminal during the process of a criminal trial.
Sawyer continued to argue that although what he called “criminal speech” may be restricted, Trump’s complaints about the Judiciary Court, the Office of the Special Counsel, and the Justice Department “were the core political speech that dominated campaign speech.” are part.” However, all this seemed to contradict his earlier statement that Trump’s status as a candidate did not affect the case. By the time he sat down, Sawyer’s scheduled 20 minutes at the podium had extended to nearly 80 minutes.
Arguments in favor of the gag order were handled by Assistant Special Counsel Cecil VanDevender. He said Trump “has a well-established practice of using his public platform to target his opponents” and that it “poses a significant and immediate risk” to the trial proceedings.
Millett was also the most candid of the three judges in questioning VanDevender. He expressed concern that the government is “not providing any balance at all to the First Amendment’s vigorous protection of political speech” and suggested that prosecutors and other officials should be prepared to confront inflammatory language.
Millett: “I feel like it contradicts Supreme Court precedent and I find a very disturbing lack of balance in favor of free speech on the part of the prosecution in this case.”
In subsequent discussions, both Millett and Pillard hinted that they might limit Chutkan’s order by removing the special counsel’s office from the list of people Trump was not allowed to attack. Speaking about Smith, Pillard said, “she definitely has thick skin” to withstand whatever Trump throws at her. Later in the questioning, VanDevender agreed that what Trump called “classic political speech directed toward the government” would be protected speech.
However, the judges also indicated that they were not going to throw out the ban order entirely. In a series of questions to VanDevender, he raised concerns about threats to witnesses and jurors, including potential harm to jurors by Trump. Millett said this has a “damaging effect” on Trump loyalists that could lead to “direct attempts to intimidate and harass” jurors. Millett asked if any technological solution could prevent this without the need for a gag order, but VanDevender responded that he was not aware of any such technology.
Ultimately, VanDevender was off the stands in less than an hour.
There is no indication how long it will take for the appeals court to issue its decision, and no sure way to tell how it will rule. However, based on their statements and questions, it appears the judge was willing to lift some restrictions on Trump’s speech — specifically, those related to prosecutors and other members of the special counsel’s office — while leaving the rest of the order in place. Went to the place.
It is one of two restraining orders that Trump’s legal team is fighting. In Trump’s New York fraud trial, Judge Arthur Angoron has also imposed a gag order on Trump barring him from making statements about court employees. The order came after Trump and his lawyers made false claims about a court clerk. Angoron has fined Trump $15,000 for two violations of that order. However, he order put on hold last Thursday by New York State’s intermediate appeals court and will be the subject of an upcoming hearing.
Republicans are challenging labor leaders to a fight and reportedly physically attacking each other. Donald Trump says he would completely abolish reproductive rights and he’s openly calling for the destruction of his opponents, referring to them as “worms” on Veterans Day. The Republican Party has emerged from its cocoon of corruption as a full-blown fascist movement.