Judge sides with Trump on protective order, handing Jack Smith an early defeat
"Mr. Trump, like any American, has a right to free speech," Judge Chutkan said. "But that right is not absolute."
A federal judge on Friday sided with Donald Trump, rejecting a request from Special Counsel Jack Smith for a protective order that would have imposed some speech restrictions on the former president as he runs in the 2024 election.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled prosecutors did not meet the burden for the protective order but also put Trump on notice he will have to be careful about what he says and releases about the case.
"Mr. Trump, like any American, has a right to free speech," Chutkan said. "But that right is not absolute."
Smith had requested the protective order last Friday after Trump posted to TRUTH Social, saying, "IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I'M COMING AFTER YOU!"
The Trump campaign said the social media message was aimed at political interest groups and not witnesses in his case.