Former President Donald Trump and his legal team filed an emergency motion on Thursday demanding a halt to Judge Tanya Chutkan’s unprecedented and “unconstitutional” gag order.
The petition for stay, filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, argues that Chutkan’s “sweeping, viewpoint-based prior restraint on the core political speech of a major Presidential candidate” does not withstand the legal scrutiny required to silence Trump.
“Given the Gag Order’s extraordinary nature, one would expect an extraordinary justification for it. Yet none exists,” the filing states. “President Trump has made months of public statements about this case, but the Department of Justice (‘the prosecution’) submitted no evidence of any actual or imminent threat to the administration of justice. Instead, when asked about the supposed threat to the case, the prosecution admitted, ‘of course this prejudice is speculative.’”
Trump’s criticisms of the corrupt Department of Justice targeting him “resonate powerfully with tens of millions of Americans,” which is why Trump’s lawyers argue the gag order constitutes an “unconstitutional hostility to President Trump’s viewpoint.”
Trump’s legal team asked that the stay and ruling be issued by Nov. 10, 2023. If the motion is denied, the lawyers threatened to involve the Supreme Court.
“If the Court denies this motion, President Trump requests that the Court extend its administrative stay for seven days to allow him to seek relief from the U.S. Supreme Court,” the legal team concluded.
Chutkan, who has a long track record of partisan rulings, first banned Trump from criticizing the corrupt prosecutors and judicial system holding his campaign hostage on Oct. 16 when she partially granted Special Counsel Jack Smith’s demands to curb the Republican frontrunner’s speech. Her decision marked the first time in U.S. judicial history when a judge ordered the restraint of a candidate’s First Amendment speech.
The order was put on hold pending a previous appeal from the former president but Chutkan reinstated the gag on Oct. 30 two weeks after she declared that Trump should not have “unfettered First Amendment rights.”
The legal muzzle prevents Trump, President Joe Biden’s top political rival and the leading Republican presidential candidate, from criticizing Chutkan, Smith, their respective staff, and their families, or saying anything that amounts to a “pre-trial smear campaign.”
Trump’s campaign argues that the silencing is just another “politically motivated attempt” by the Biden Administration to “derail” Trump’s 2024 run and his First Amendment right “to speak out against this unconstitutional tyranny.”
“The district court’s unconstitutional Gag Order prevents President Trump—the leading candidate for President of the United States—from engaging in core political speech, which is entitled to the highest level of protection under the First Amendment,” Trump Campaign Spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement.
Not only does the gag order infringe on Trump’s rights, but Cheung said it “violates the civil rights of over 100 million Americans who follow President Trump and have a First Amendment right to receive and listen to his speech.”
“The voters of America have a fundamental right to hear the uncensored voice of the leading candidate for the highest office in the land,” he continued.