A gag order against former President Donald Trump in a federal election interference case is being considered by a three-judge panel after hearing arguments in the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
During 2 1/2 hours of arguments, the appeals court judges decided whether to reinstate a trial judge’s order barring President Trump from making incendiary statements against prosecutors, prospective witnesses and court staff. , both sides seemed skeptical.
Cecil Vandevender, a lawyer with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office, argues that the gag order is necessary to prevent President Trump from threatening or intimidating participants in an alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election. did.
Meanwhile, President Trump’s lawyer John Sauer asked the court to vacate the order.
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Although the court did not issue an immediate decision, the outcome of Monday’s arguments raises questions about what President Trump can say as his trial date approaches, both as a criminal defendant and as a leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. You will have to decide whether or not to do so.
The judges hearing the case include Cornelia Pillard and Patricia Millet, who were appointed by former President Barack Obama, and Brad Garcia, who joined the bench earlier this year after being nominated by President Biden.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan first imposed a partial gag order on October 17, preventing Trump from making comments targeting Smith, his staff, witnesses and court officials.
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The order was then suspended pending an appeal from the former president and reinstated by Chutkan on October 29.
The order does not prevent President Trump from voicing general grievances about the incident, and Chutkan said the former president is still allowed to assert his claims of innocence and that the incident is politically He said it was motivated.
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President Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing in the incident, claiming it was part of an effort to prevent him from winning the 2024 presidential election. Mr. Trump has also harshly criticized those involved in the case, including Mr. Smith, whom he frequently mentions. As “I went crazy.”
FOX News’ Jake Gibson, Brandon Gillespie and The Associated Press contributed to this report.