In one of the most egregious examples of sweeping state abuse, DC District Judge Tanya Chutkan officially banned former President Donald Trump from criticizing the corrupt prosecutors and judicial system holding his campaign hostage by partially granting the federal government’s demand to silence the Republican ahead of the 2024 election.
The expansive gag order, issued on Monday, prevents Trump, the former leader of the free world, the Biden administration’s top political rival, and the leading Republican presidential candidate, from criticizing Chutkan, Special Counsel Jack Smith, their respective staff, and their families, or saying anything that amounts to a “pre-trial smear campaign.”
Chutkan said during the hearing that the federal government’s original gag order request was far too broad because it would criminalize Trump for invoking insults like “Crooked Joe Biden” on the campaign trail. Yet, she concluded the hearing by agreeing to dictate the free speech rights of Trump, including his ability to criticize her long track record of political rulings.
The J6 judge claimed the order would prevent Trump from tainting the left-leaning DC jury pool, intimidating witnesses, and risking violence with his words. Trump’s lawyers, however, identified Chutkan’s command as another tool President Joe Biden and his administration are using in their quest “to silence his top political candidate in the middle of an election season.”
Chutkan did not dispute the allegation that she is aiding the Biden administration’s attempts to “squelch political speech.” Instead, she declared that Trump should not have “unfettered First Amendment rights.”
During arguments, Chutkan was seen showing “open hostility” and annoyance towards Trump and his legal team. She accused them of using “campaign rhetoric” in their arguments to protect Trump’s 2024 campaign strategy, which has thus far revolved around criticizing the weaponization of the federal government against its political enemies.
Trump’s legal team already swore to appeal the order since the future of the Republican’s free speech rights rests upon it.
“Today’s decision is an absolute abomination and another partisan knife stuck in the heart of our Democracy by Crooked Joe Biden, who was granted the right to muzzle his political opponent, the leading candidate for the Presidency in 2024, and the most popular political leader in America, President Donald J. Trump,” a Trump spokesman said in a statement following Chutkan’s order. “President Trump will continue to fight for our Constitution, the American people’s right to support him, and to keep our country free of the chains of weaponized and targeted law enforcement.”
Chutkan did not immediately disclose whether she would impose the penalties Smith suggested in his September motion for the gag order. Her history of disparaging Trump’s First Amendment rights, however, hints that he will not be let off the hook.
“Mr. Trump, like every American, has a First Amendment right to free speech. But that right is not absolute,” Chutkan said during proceedings in August. “In a criminal case such as this one, the defendant’s free speech is subject to the rules.”
Chutkan’s declaration that “I cannot and I will not factor into my decisions how it will factor into a political campaign” also seems to suggest that she doesn’t care about the political implications of handicapping the speech of a man who is in the middle of a presidential campaign.
“What the defendant is currently doing — the fact that he’s running a political campaign has to yield to the orderly administration of justice. If that means he can’t say exactly what he wants to say about witnesses in this case, that’s how it has to be,” the Obama appointee concluded.