Follow Us

Federal appeal court upholds but narrows Trump gag order

Special Counsel Jack Smith was removed the list of protected court staff.

Published: December 8, 2023 2:56pm

Updated: December 8, 2023 2:59pm

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the gag order on former President Donald Trump in his election interference case, but narrowed the restrictions on his speech.

Trump and others involved in the federal case are now prohibited from making remarks about “known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding," CNBC reports.  

Judge Tanya Chutkan's decision to bar Trump from making statements that "target" foreseeable witnesses was held up by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

However, the court refined the directive and barred Trump from any statements “made with the intent to materially interfere with, or to cause others to materially interfere with” the direction of the case, The Hill reports.

Special counsel Jack Smith was removed from the list of protected court staff, allowing Trump to make comments about him if he desires. 

“We agree with the district court that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s public statements pose a significant and imminent threat to the fair and orderly adjudication of the ongoing criminal proceeding, warranting a speech-constraining protective order. The district court’s order, however, sweeps in more protected speech than is necessary,” the panel wrote.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook