Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley Friday night reacted to a decision by a federal appeals court to freeze a gag order on President Trump temporarily.
A federal appeals court on Friday temporarily paused Judge Tanya Chutkan’s gag order against Trump in Jack Smith’s January 6 case in DC.
The 3-judge panel at the DC District Court of Appeals, all Democrats, froze Chutkan’s gag order. Oral arguments are set for November 20.
Last month Trump filed a motion to stay (halt) the gag order imposed by Judge Chutkan pending appeal.
On October 20, Judge Chutkan agreed to temporarily pause her own gag order in the DOJ’s January 6 case while Trump and Jack Smith submit appeal briefs.
According to Chutkan’s gag order, Trump cannot criticize Special Counsel Jack Smith or any of his prosecutors – even if Trump is telling the truth!
The gag order prevented Trump from criticizing Jack Smith or any of his prosecutors or staffers, any of the Court’s staff or supporting personnel or any ‘witnesses.’
Jack Smith can leak and lie about Trump – and threaten witnesses – but Trump cannot defend himself otherwise he will be violating Chutkan’s unconstitutional gag order.
Last week, Judge Chutkan reinstated a gag order against Trump and argued in her latest ruling that Trump’s repeated inflammatory attacks on prosecutors, court officials, and witnesses had threatened to undermine the case and put people at risk.
The appeals court froze the gag order as they review it and Turley believes this move is ‘quite significant.’
“They could have left it to continue, to continue while they reviewed it, but, they decided perhaps in an abundance of caution to order this stoppage until they can give it a full review,” Turley said on Fox News Friday night. “The reason I think this could be quite significant is because I think the order is unconstitutional.”
“I said that when it was first issued. It’s a very odd concept of an order because the court here insisted on having this trial before the election, sort of shoehorned it in before Super Tuesday,” Turley added. “And everyone in this election is going to be talking about these cases, except one person under this gag order and that is Donald Trump.”
Turley continued, “He can’t criticize the prosecutors, he can’t criticize witnesses, and special counsel Jack Smith just asked for this order to be expanded in an equally unconstitutional way and that has drawn the criticism even of the ACLU, which is a staunch critic of Donald Trump, but the ACLU has said look, this is flagrantly unconstitutional.”
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