(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) A federal appeals court has strongly indicated its intent to rebuff a contentious gag order placed on former President Donald Trump by Judge Tanya Chutkan in the 2020 federal election criminal case.
The three-judge panel expressed concerns about the scope of the order, which effectively blocks Trump, a prominent presidential contender, from publicly addressing witnesses, the courthouse and the prosecutors seeking his incarceration in a trial led by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
During the riveting two-hour hearing in Washington, Judge Patricia Millett, an appointee under the Obama administration, likened the gag order to a potential straightjacket against Trump, as reported by Politico.
“He has to speak ‘Miss Manners’ while everyone else is throwing targets at him?” Millett declared, highlighting the profound implications of such a restriction.
“It would be really hard in a debate, when everyone else is going at you full bore. Your attorneys would have to have scripted little things you can say,” she added.
Acknowledging a dislike of Trump’s rhetoric, Millett emphasized the critical issue at hand. “It’s not how I want my children to speak, but that’s really not the question,” she stressed.
Judge Nina Pillard, another Obama appointee, questioned the assertion that the gag order was necessary to prevent potential witness intimidation.
“I would assume that their testimony would not be affected,” Pillard stated, casting damning doubts on the merits of the order.
Politico reported that the panel is contemplating the imposition of a much narrower version of the order, with Millett emphasizing the need for precision: “We have to use a careful scalpel here.”
Meanwhile, as the appeals court weighs the fate of the gag order, it has temporarily halted its enforcement. This move effectively granted Trump the opportunity to voice concerns about the case and launch attacks against Smith and the presiding judge.
A potential smackdown of the gag order would mark the second time Trump triumphs in his appeals. Last week, a New York appeals court temporarily halted a gag order imposed by embattled Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron in the civil fraud case led by Attorney General Letitia James against the Trump Organization.