Donald Trump’s legal team has been working hard to fight for the freedom of speech, presenting their case before the appeals court over a gag order placed on the former president by District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan. The gag order restricts Trump from making statements targeting anyone involved in his upcoming trial, including the Special Counsel team, defense team, court staff, and witnesses.
Lawyers for Trump argued against this restriction of Trump’s freedom of speech during a heated hearing, with attorney John Sauer stating: “[The order] impedes on Trump’s ‘core political speech’ during a presidential campaign.” Sauer also detailed the order as being “unprecedented” and its implications as potentially not allowing the court to protect the integrity of the trial prior to any harm being caused.
Judge Patricia Millett voiced her concern for the lack of free speech protection offered by the gag order, stating: “[Your position] doesn’t seem to give much balance at all to the First Amendment’s vigorous protection of political speech.”
The defense argued that the gag order does not protect the court’s “truth-finding function” as restricting Donald Trump’s ability to express his views on this situation also restricts his right to campaign for the coming election in November.
During the hearing, Trump’s lawyer emphasized the role of making sure that democratic rights such as the right to free speech are protected. They used the words of the judges against them, quoting Judge Millett as saying: “We certainly want to make sure that the criminal trial process and its integrity and its truth finding function are protected, but we’ve got to use a careful scalpel here and not step into … skewing the political arena, don’t we?”
The district court’s gag order on Donald Trump in an effort to protect the criminal trial process is unacceptable given that this condition of his freedom of speech could deeply impact the coming election. It is a clear violation of his democratic right, and his legal team is fighting hard to protect it.