On Monday, Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a gag order on President Trump amidst a contentious election season.
The motion to gag was filed last month by Special Counsel Jack Smith, citing a “sustained campaign of prejudicial public statements regarding witnesses, the Court, the District and prosecutors” made by Trump since September 15th.
During Monday’s hearing, John Lauro – Trump’s lawyer – argued that such an order would prevent the president from campaigning and engaging in dialogue about important issues.
As per this ruling, Trump will be prohibited from speaking out against Special Counsel Jack Smith or any other court witnesses.
John Lauro is arguing. “These prosecutors want to stop Mr Trump from speaking out about the issues of the day”
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) October 16, 2023
Judge Chutkan responded to Trump’s lawyers with a solemn expression before informing them that Trump does not possess unlimited First Amendment Rights.
“Chutkan laughed after Trump’s lawyer John Lauro argued that the current conditions are working, saying she disagreed before she went through some of Trump’s statements one by one. Chutakn said Trump “doesn’t” have unfettered First Amendment rights, and that there’s “no question” that the court is entitled to draw restrictions to ensure the fair administration of justice.” NBC News reported.
“You keep talking about censorship like the defendant has unfettered First Amendment rights. He doesn’t,” Judge Chutkan said, according to the AP. “We’re not talking about censorship here. We’re talking restrictions to ensure there is a fair administration of justice on this case.”
The trial date is scheduled for March 4, 2024.