WASHINGTON: A US federal appeals court on Friday upheld most of a gag order imposed on former president Donald Trump in his election interference case.
“We do not allow such an order lightly,” said Judge Patricia Millett, who wrote the unanimous opinion issued by a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. “Mr Trump is a former president and current candidate for the presidency, and there is a strong public interest in what he has to say,” Millett said.
“But Mr Trump is also an indicted criminal defendant, and he must stand trial in a courtroom under the same procedures that govern all other criminal defendants.” The appeals court slightly narrowed the gag order issued by the district court judge who will preside over Trump´s trial for allegedly conspiring to overturn the 2020 election won by Democrat Joe Biden.
Judge Tanya Chutkan had barred Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, from publicly attacking Jack Smith, the special counsel who brought the historic case against him, other prosecutors, court staff or potential witnesses ahead of his March trial.