The DOJ is seeking to bar Trump from publicly attacking witnesses and others in ways that would threaten the integrity of the election meddling trial
U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan warned Donald Trump in August that she would not tolerate any actions that could be perceived as witness intimidation by the former president in his 2020 election meddling case. She’s now considering a motion for a partial gag-order on Trump’s public statements.
According to a Friday filing, Justice Department prosecutors are seeking “a narrow, well-defined restriction that is targeted at extrajudicial statements that present a serious and substantial danger of materially prejudicing this case.”
The proposed order would include “(a) statements regarding the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses; and (b) statements about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors that are disparaging and inflammatory, or intimidating.”
In other words, the DOJ wants a court order preventing Trump from making public statements that could intimidate witnesses or jeopardize the integrity of the case.
According to another court filing released Friday, Chutkan granted a request from the Justice Department to have a redacted version of the motion against Trump filed to the case’s public docket. In the judge’s initial decision, she wrote that prosecutors allege Trump “targeted with inflammatory public statements” individuals “who were subsequently subjected to threats and harassment,” and that their identities would be removed from the public filing.
Last month, Chutkan partially granted a protective order that restricted Trump and his legal team’s ability to share potentially sensitive evidence made available to them in the course of the trial. During the hearing announcing her ruling, Chutkan warned the former president’s attorneys that she would take “whatever measures are necessary to safeguard the integrity of these proceedings.”
“Even arguably ambiguous statements from parties or their counsel, if they can be reasonably interpreted to intimidate witnesses or to prejudice potential jurors, can threaten the process,” she said.