Experts say Jack Smith's gag order request for Trump is 'very problematic'

October 16, 2023
Robert Ayers

Legal experts have told the Daily Caller that there are problems with the gag order that special counsel Jack Smith has asked the court to impose on former President Donald Trump. 

A gag order, as its name would suggest, is a court order that stops a person from talking about something during a case. It is a limitation on an individual's First Amendment rights.


Smith, as a representative of President Joe Biden's Department of Justice (DOJ), has brought two criminal cases against Trump: one in which Smith alleges that Trump illegally mishandled classified documents after he left office and one in which Smith accuses Trump of wrongdoing in relation to Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump has pled not guilty in both cases, and he maintains that Smith is essentially running 2024 election interference for Biden.

For the purposes of this article, we are focusing on the Jan. 6 case. Here, Smith has asked the judge overseeing the case - U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan - to impose a gag order on Trump.

Smith wants to stop the former president from making any public statements that are “disparaging and inflammatory, or intimidating” toward any “party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors. Smith also wants to stop Trump from making any statements “regarding the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses.”

But, the legal experts say that Smith's request has a problem.

The problem:

The Daily Caller spoke with several legal experts who explained the problem with Smith's gag order request.

Attorney John Shu explained to the outlet, "Courts are generally leery of prior restraints on political speech, and there is no practical way for Trump to run for president without discussing his many pending criminal and civil cases, all of which are very much in the public eye."

In other words, Smith's gag order would unconstitutionally interfere with Trump's 2024 campaign.

Schu added, "Because constitutional rights in a criminal trial, such as the 1st, 5th, and 6th Amendments, belong to the defendant, not to the prosecutors, a gag order which prohibits a defendant from criticizing the government or a public figure is much less likely to survive appellate scrutiny."

What now?

The matter is in the hands of Judge Chutkan, whose anti-Trump bias, by now, has been well established.

Politico reports that, on Monday, a hearing will be held at which Chutkan will consider the gag order.

It is unclear whether Chutkan will rule on the gag order on Monday. But, at the very least, we should get a better idea of how she is likely to rule.

Latest News

© 2023 - Patriot News Alerts