WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. A federal judge in the United States temporarily removed a partial gag order she had imposed on Donald Trump’s public utterances concerning the federal criminal case in which the former president is accused of fraudulently attempting to overturn his 2020 election loss.
On the same day that a New York state judge fined Trump $5,000 for violating a gag order in a civil trial, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington put the order she issued earlier in the week on hold while she considers the former president’s request for a longer pause while he challenges it.
On Friday, Trump’s lawyers requested Chutkan to relax the limits while he asks a U.S. appeals court to overturn the judge’s ruling, which they described as “breathtakingly overbroad.”
On Monday, hutkan forbade Trump from making public statements that “target” Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the investigation, and members of his staff. The order also forbids Trump from criticizing court personnel or potential witnesses in the lawsuit.
Trump has previously referred to Smith, who was appointed as special counsel by US Attorney General Merrick Garland, as a “deranged lunatic” and a “thug,” among other derogatory terms. Trump is facing four criminal prosecutions and has made disparaging remarks about the prosecutors in each of them, as well as the New York state attorney general, who filed civil fraud charges against him.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to accusations that he intended to illegally meddle with vote counting and obstruct congressional certification of his 2020 loss to Democrat Joe Biden.