Federal appeals court denies Trump request to toss gag order in DC election case

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A federal appeals court in Washington D.C. on Tuesday denied former President Donald Trump’s request to toss the gag order on his speech related to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s election interference case. 

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan first imposed the partial gag order on Oct. 17, blocking Trump from making statements targeting Special Counsel Jack Smith, his staff, witnesses and court personnel. 

KEY ASPECTS OF TRUMP GAG ORDER UPHELD BY FEDERAL APPEALS COURT

Trump appealed the gag order, and a three-judge appeals panel upheld the order but broadened what Trump could say about the case and Smith. 

Former President Donald Trump and Special Counsel Jack Smith. Smith is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Trump’s immunity claims in the election interference criminal case against him.  (Getty Images)

Trump, last month, appealed the order altogether to the full Appeals Court, but was denied Tuesday. 

“Upon consideration of appellant’s petition for panel rehearing filed on December 18, 2023, and the request for administrative stay, it is ordered that the petition be denied,” the order states. “It is, further ordered, that the request for administrative stay be denied.” 

Trump and his attorneys can now appeal to the United States Supreme Court. 

Attorneys for the former president and 2024 GOP front-runner have said that the gag order is a violation of his First Amendment rights, especially as he campaigns for the White House. 

TRUMP APPEALS REINSTATED GAG ORDER IN DC FEDERAL ELECTION CASE

“No court in American history has imposed a gag order on a criminal defendant who is actively campaigning for public office — let alone the leading candidate for President of the United States,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in an original filing in November. 

“The Gag Order violates the First Amendment rights of President Trump and over 100 million Americans who listen to him,” they added.

Trump, in August, pleaded not guilty in federal court to all four federal charges stemming from Smith’s investigation into 2020 election interference and the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights. 

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