Monday blues: It's a pivotal day for Donald Trump as Judge is expected to make major decision

Donald Trump will be waiting for Judge Chutkan to decide on whether or not his social media usage needs to be limited.

Donald Trump gag order trial Judge Tanya Chutkan election interference
© James Devaney / GETTY IMAGES
Donald Trump gag order trial Judge Tanya Chutkan election interference

Donald Trump’s trials have expanded beyond their original charges. One example of this is when Judge Engoron, ruling on Trump’s civil fraud case, imposed a limited gag order on the former President after he took to Truth Social. In his post, Trump published a picture of a clerk without her consent.

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Following this incident, Trump’s election interference case was impacted. On 10 October, prosecution asked for Judge Chutkan to:

take steps to protect the identity of prospective jurors

The worry is that Trump and his team would be targeting jurors if they were they given access to their names. Judge Chutkan is expected to rule on this today.

Another possible gag order for Trump

The gag order was proposed by the prosecution after Donald Trump took his social media usage too far when he shared a picture of a clerk. Moreover, Trump has continuously attacked prosecutors and judges using words like ‘team of thugs’ to refer to the prosecution and ‘gutless pig’ towards a witness.

This gag order would prevent Trump from further commenting on the Judge, jurors and witnesses. The prosecution will be presenting its arguments to Judge Chutkan on Monday 16 October in a hearing.

They will probably try and convince the Judge that Donald Trump poses a threat as his ‘continued use of social media’ is now a ‘weapon of intimidation in court proceedings.’ They will also put forward that two other judges issued warnings to Trump and his team. Judge Engoron put a gag order in place and the Judge overseeing Trump’s rape lawsuit against writer E. Jean Carroll, chose not to disclose the identity of the jurors.

A difficult decision to make

Ruling on this will be difficult for Judge Chutkan as Donald Trump’s trials have a super power: they serve his presidential campaign. Indeed, it appears that the more hurdles he has to overcome, the more support he gets.

AP reports that Judge Chutkan’s decision needs to be well considered. They write:

Ending the stream of Trump’s harsh language would make the case easier to manage.
But among the difficult questions Chutkan must navigate is how any gag order might be enforced and how one could be fashioned that does not risk provoking Trump’s base and fueling his claims of political persecution as he campaigns to retake the White House in 2024.

Judge Chutkan is left in a difficult spot. Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney points out:

in this case (...) Donald Trump has made it apparent that he will say all kinds of outrageous and vitriolic things about the parties, about the judge, about witnesses unless she acts (...)
So in some ways she has, I think, a responsibility to act here.

Chutkan and Trump already faced each other in August during a hearing to determine the start date of his election interference trial. At the time Chutkan said:

Legal trials are not like elections, to be won through the use of meeting halls, the radio and newspaper (...) I will take whatever measures are necessary to safeguard the integrity of these proceedings.

In the same hearing both Judge Chutkan and the prosecution had warned Trump and his team that they would be looking at his social media usage.

Judge Chutkan will have to rule on the gag order and this could have a huge impact on Trump’s campaigning as he uses social media to rally supporters. This is why his team will be fighting in the hearing today, claiming that a gag order would be an ‘obvious attempt by the Biden Administration to unlawfully silence its most prominent political opponent’ and a violation of his First Amendment right.

Read more:

Donald Trump: New damning proof of his fraud revealed by Forbes

Donald Trump's latest blunder has people questioning his mental health: 'It’s official.. His life is an illusion'

Donald Trump: The former president gives visible signs of frustration as he gets more pushback in fraud trial


AP: Citing Trump’s online attacks, US prosecutors seek protections for potential jurors in election case

AP: A proposed gag order on Trump in his federal election case is putting the judge in a tricky position

CNN: Judge Chutkan holds hearing over proposed gag order against Trump in DC

 A challenging day in court for Donald Trump as he gets told off by Judge A challenging day in court for Donald Trump as he gets told off by Judge