Donald Trump: Judge bans former US president from making certain statements

Federal judge Tanya Chutkan bans former US President Donald Trump from verbal attacks against prosecutors and witnesses. In doing so, she partially granted a request from special investigator Jack Smith.

Former US President Donald Trump is banned from making certain public statements in view of the proceedings against him for attempted election fraud. This is what Tanya Chutkan, the Washington judge responsible for the case, decided, as US media reported from the court. Specifically, this concerns statements made by the Republican that he addressed to the judiciary or potential witnesses.

Trump sees himself as a victim of a campaign

Special counsel Jack Smith had filed a motion to that effect, arguing that Trump had made public statements that attacked and intimidated the court, potential witnesses and prosecutors.

Charges were filed against the Republican in the case at the beginning of August. He is accused, among other things, of initiating a conspiracy against the United States. Trump denies all allegations and portrays himself as the victim of a politically motivated campaign.

“Ban on speech like censorship”

Trump’s defense argued that such a speech ban was censorship and violated the right to free speech. In addition, the 77-year-old, who wants to return to the White House for the Republicans after the 2024 presidential election, is in the middle of the election campaign. It is not legal for his Democratic rival Joe Biden to be allowed to express himself freely – but not Trump, according to Trump’s lawyers.

The judge argued that Trump was allowed to criticize Biden because he had nothing to do with the case. Instead, she was concerned about threats and insults from the ex-president – for example against his then chief of staff Mark Milley or the special investigator.

Donald Trump rails against opponents

In speeches and on his social network Truth Social, the Republican regularly rails against the judiciary and former companions. The trial in Washington is scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024. It is one of four criminal proceedings against Trump, who wants to run for the Republicans again in the presidential election next November.