U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan’s decision to impose a limited gag order on former president Donald Trump has drawn fierce criticism, notably from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). The order, which restricts Trump from making certain public comments ahead of his trial for alleged election interference, has been met with sharp rebuke from Trump’s allies.
Greene, who voiced her concerns from the Federal courthouse in D.C., took to Twitter to lambast the decision. “Today, a Democrat judge issued an order gagging President Trump, destroying the First Amendment,” she tweeted. Greene went on to liken the courtroom to the “Ministry of Truth,” referencing George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “1984.”
“The judge was also talking about how this isn’t about the court of public opinion, but yet media is allowed to sit in the courtroom, which creates public opinion, what’s written in the headlines and the stories that are written, but yet President Trump can’t say anything about the courtroom and defend himself,” Greene said.
“This is meant to hurt him politically,” she continued. “This is meant to sway public opinion and public opinion guides how people vote. So public opinion is important, but Jack Smith didn’t bring charges against President Trump until he became a candidate for the presidency.”
Judge Chutkan, appointed by former President Barack Obama, imposed a limited gag order on former President Trump earlier on Monday ahead of his trial for alleged election interference. The decision came in response to a request by prosecutors who raised concerns about potential interference with the judicial process.
The gag order prohibits Trump, his legal team, and all related parties from making public comments that target special counsel Jack Smith, his team, Judge Chutkan’s staff, or other court personnel. Explicitly, comments about the families of these individuals have been deemed off-limits.
Today, a Democrat judge issued an order gagging President Trump, destroying the First Amendment.
The judge made her courtroom the Ministry of Truth.
She said the case isn’t about the court of public opinion, yet she allows the media to sit in her courtroom, the very people who… pic.twitter.com/wzlKjPzEME
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) October 16, 2023
…and the most popular political leader in America, President Donald J. Trump. President Trump will continue to fight for our Constitution, the American people’s right to support him, and to keep our country free of the chains of weaponized and targeted law enforcement.”
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 16, 2023
Chutkan stated that Trump has the right to assert that “this prosecution is politically motivated,” yet he’s prohibited from using derogatory terms like “thug” for the prosecutor or taking actions that “vilify and implicitly encourage violence against public servants who are simply doing their jobs.”
The case at the center of this controversy revolves around allegations that Trump may have incited the riots on January 6th, 2021. Trump has previously labeled lead prosecutor Jack Smith as “deranged,” saying that Smith’s pursuits against him are politically motivated.
Greene slammed Democrats, saying, “This entire thing is run by Joe Biden, who is his political opponent. So obviously everyone will see this for exactly what it is. It’s the weaponized government, which we should never see in the United States of America.”
While the First Amendment protects Trump’s right to freedom of speech, this ruling challenges his ability to exercise that right in the context of ongoing litigation. Judge Chutkan had previously cautioned Trump about his comments, hinting at potentially accelerating the trial to mitigate potential jury prejudice.
“Freedom of speech is such an important right, and at what point will it stop? Today, the court is weaponized in stopping freedom of speech of a former president who has not been found guilty. He’s only been charged, he’s been indicted,” Greene said in her closing statement.