Trial speech bans: Donald Trump receives the next gag order – and is dishing it out against the judge again

A so-called "gag order" is generally not funny.

Trial speech bans: Donald Trump receives the next gag order – and is dishing it out against the judge again

A so-called "gag order" is generally not funny. In American legal terms, this refers to a muzzle that is intended to prevent witnesses, judges or other participants from being intimidated or threatened during court proceedings. For example on the part of the accused. In the case of the four-time indicted ex-US President Donald Trump, one of these silence orders has already been issued, and another has now been re-enacted by Washington judge Tanya Chutkan.

The trial in the US capital is about attempted election fraud, or more precisely about undue interference in the counting of votes in the last presidential election. The speech ban has been in place for some time, but was challenged by Trump's lawyers in mid-October. The reason for the "gag order" were attacks such as those against the special investigator and prosecutor Jack Smith, whom he had called a "mentally deranged lunatic" and a "thug."

The former head of state also attacked Arthur Engoron, judge in the New York fraud trial against him, in a similar manner: "This judge is a very partisan judge, next to whom sits a person who is very partisan, perhaps even much more partisan than himself," Trump complained recently. Because this was the second violation of the silence decree, Donald Trump has to pay a fine of $10,000. He previously had to pay $5,000 for not deleting a denigrating post about a judicial employee from his Truth Social network.

Neither the second fine nor the renewed ban on speaking in the capital is stopping the real estate mogul from continuing to distribute: "I note that the very biased, Trump-hating judge in DC. (Washington, ed.), who is because of her "With his blatant and open dislike for your favorite president, me, you should have resigned, has once again issued a 'gag order' that will put me at a disadvantage compared to prosecutors and political opponents," Trump said on Truth Social. And further: He will not accept the “unconstitutional interference” with his rights and will lodge an objection.

Although the purpose of the silence order is to protect the process and its participants, it is controversial among US lawyers whether it actually violates the First Amendment, freedom of speech. The boundaries between general comments about ongoing processes, pointed opinions and real threats often blur. In the New York trial, Judge Engoron threatened Trump with imprisonment if further violations occurred. However, it is unlikely that he will accept such a punishment without a fight.

Sources:Axios, Des Moines Register, Reuters, AFP

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