Updated Oct 30, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump slams judge after gag order reinstated in federal election case

Former President Donald Trump arrives for the second day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on October 03, 2023 in New York City.

Former President Trump in New York City earlier this month. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Former President Trump's narrow gag order in his federal election subversion criminal case was reinstated on Sunday by the judge overseeing the matter.

The latest: Trump criticized U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan's ruling in a Truth Social post early Monday and claimed the gag order "unconstitutionally takes away" his First Amendment Rights.

  • "I have just learned that the very Biased, Trump Hating Judge in D.C., who should have RECUSED herself due to her blatant and open loathing of your favorite President, ME, has reimposed a GAG ORDER which will put me at a disadvantage against my prosecutorial and political opponents," Trump wrote.
  • "Few can believe this is happening, but I will appeal. How can they tell the leading candidate that he, and only he, is seriously restricted from campaigning in a free and open manner? It will not stand!"

The big picture: Chutkan's action was announced in the court's online docket that denied Trump's request for a long-term stay of the order, pending appeal.

  • Details of the latest ruling by Chutkan, who's overseeing the case being prosecuted by special counsel Jack Smith's team, were not immediately available.

State of play: Prosecutors had argued that a gag order was necessary to protect the integrity of judicial proceedings, but Trump's lawyers said it would violate his right to free speech and restrict his 2024 campaign.

  • Chutkan issued a narrow gag order barring "interested parties," including Trump, from making any public statements targeting the special counsel or his staff, witnesses or court staff.
  • The Obama-appointed judge granted a temporary stay in the matter on Oct. 20 following a request from the Republican presidential front-runner's lawyers to allow for more time to explain their request.

Zoom out: Trump has lashed out at those involved in several of the criminal and civil cases he faces.

Zoom in: Trump has repeatedly criticized Chutkan and others in the Jan. 6 case on social media and the judge warned him in August against making any "inflammatory statements" on the matter.

  • In a post soon after Chutkan's ruling, Trump wrote: "The Corrupt Biden Administration just took away my First Amendment Right To Free Speech. NOT CONSTITUTIONAL! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN…"

For the record: Trump pleaded not guilty in August to all federal charges in the case that alleges he plotted to overturn the 2020 election.

Of note: The D.C.-based Chutkan's gag order is separate to one issued by a judge in New York overseeing Trump's civil fraud trial.

Go deeper: Judge Chutkan declines to recuse herself from Trump 2020 election case

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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