A U.S. District Court judge has barred former President Donald Trump from campaigning against his top political opponent: the federal government.
On Monday, Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a gag order to prohibit the Republican frontrunner from speaking out on the case just more than a year out from the next election. The order bars Trump from publicly defending himself against attacks from potential witnesses, court personnel, or federal prosecutors in the case, including Special Counsel Jack Smith.
“This is not about whether I like the language Mr. Trump uses,” Judge Chutkan reportedly said. “This is about language that presents a danger to the administration of justice.”
The order itself, however, presents a danger to American democracy. Democrats are already trying to prevent Americans from being given the chance to vote on the former president. Now, far-left activists are wielding the judiciary to prevent Trump from leading an effective campaign. With a more than 45-point lead in the Republican primary, Trump isn’t running against the other candidates attempting to challenge him. He’s running against the Department of Justice, and the Department of Justice under President Joe Biden is running against him with 44 federal indictments to thwart the GOP frontrunner’s triumphant return.
The special counsel prosecuting Trump over protestors’ 2021 attack on the Capitol requested the gag order in September, alleging the former president’s statements over the case sought to “undermine the integrity of these proceedings and prejudice the jury pool.” Yet the proceedings were undermined from the start with the selection of Judge Chutkan to preside over the politically charged case in the nation’s capital. Just more than a week after Smith requested the gag order, Chutkan refused a motion from Trump’s legal team that she recuse herself from the trial.
There has never been any doubt on how Chutkan might rule on consequential decisions since the Jan. 6 indictments were first handed down on Aug. 1. An activist judge with an obvious animus against the former president and his supporters, federal prosecutors could not have been given a more friendly judge in a district more friendly to the government’s case. Beyond the fact residents in Washington D.C. voted for Biden over Trump in 2020 by a whopping 92 to 5 percent, an Emerson College survey found a majority, 64 percent, had already made up their minds to vote in favor of convicting Trump if they were selected for his jury. Only 8 percent said they would find Trump innocent, and another 28 percent were unsure. Chutkan herself is likely among those who would vote in favor of convicting based on recent rulings and statements.
According to the Associated Press in August, the Obama-appointed judge built a reputation as “a tough punisher of Capitol rioters.” Chutkan presided over more than three dozen cases of those charged with crimes related to the Capitol riot.
“Other judges typically have handed down sentences that are more lenient than those requested by prosecutors,” reported the AP. “Chutkan, however, has matched or exceeded prosecutors’ recommendations in 19 of her 38 sentences. In four of those cases, prosecutors weren’t seeking any jail time at all.”
Chutkan has also condemned comparisons of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to the deadly riots for so-called “social justice” of 2020. The fiery riots, she claimed in one hearing, were actually “the actions of people protesting, mostly peacefully, for civil rights.” The Capitol riot, on the other hand, was an attempt to “violently overthrow the government.” Never mind the $2 billion worth of damage, making the outbreak of leftist violence one of the most destructive in American history, and “protestors” targeting of federal buildings. The carnage from the summer of rage cost 66 times more than the estimated damage done to the Capitol in the hours-long riot.
Trump’s Republican rivals attacked him for shelling out a disproportionate amount of campaign funds for his own legal defense. Those attacks, however, fail to grapple with the reality that for Trump, his serious opponents aren’t the other Republicans in the race. His primary contest is one with the federal government trying to silence him.