Appeals court to hear arguments on limited gag order in Trump’s federal election interference case

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(WASHINGTON) — A Washington, D.C., appeals court will hear arguments Monday regarding former President Donald Trump’s limited gag order in his federal election interference case.

The hearing, before a panel of judges, is Trump’s latest effort to lift the limited gag order issued by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan that prohibits Trump from making or reposting statements statements “publicly targeting” special counsel Jack Smith and his staff, as well as targeting the judge’s staff and the staff of other D.C. district court personnel.

At the moment, the appeals court has paused the order as Trump continues to fight it.

Trump’s lawyers argue that the limited gag order violates his First Amendment rights, while the special counsel has urged the judge to impose restrictions on Trump in order to protect potential jurors.

During the hearing on Monday, Trump’s attorneys and prosecutors will each get 20 minutes to argue their case, according to the court order.

Trump in August pleaded not guilty to charges of undertaking a “criminal scheme” to overturn the results of the 2020 election by enlisting a slate of so-called “fake electors,” using the Justice Department to conduct “sham election crime investigations,” trying to enlist the vice president to “alter the election results,” and promoting false claims of a stolen election as the Jan. 6 riot raged — all in an effort to subvert democracy and remain in power.

The former president has denied all wrongdoing and denounced the charges as “a persecution of a political opponent.”

Chutkan issued the limited gag order last month after Trump made comments and online posts that included calling Smith “deranged” and a “thug.”

Last week, a New York appeals court temporarily lifted a similar limited gag order imposed by Judge Arthur Engoron in Trump’s civil fraud trial, citing constitutional concerns over Trump’s free speech rights.

“Considering the constitutional and statutory rights at issue, an interim stay is granted,” New York Judge Friedman of the appellate division’s first department wrote in his order.

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