Trump election interference case: Federal judge reinstates gag order

A federal judge reinstated a gag order on the former president.

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Sunday reinstated a gag order she imposed on former President Donald Trump earlier this month.

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U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan denied Trump’s request to pause the order while his appeal continues. She also lifted a temporary freeze on the gag order that she issued on Oct. 20 while she considered his request, The Washington Post reported.

The order reimposes limits on what Trump can say publicly about prosecutors, court staff and potential witnesses in his upcoming case in Washington, D.C., according to the AP.

Trump is accused of conspiring to subvert the 2020 presidential election, the Post reported.

Trump can appeal the order for an emergency stay, but until there is a ruling, he is bound by Chutkan’s order, according to the newspaper.

If the former president violates Chutkan’s order -- similar to what he did in a civil trial in New York -- the judge will have to decide how to punish Trump, the Post reported.

In that case, Justice Arthur F. Engoron, the judge overseeing the civil trial, fined Trump $10,000 for violating the order, The New York Times reported. That order barred the former president from going after members of the court’s staff.

Engoron’s ruling followed a $5,000 fine imposed on Trump by Engoron several days earlier.

A notice about Chutkan’s ruling was posted on the electronic docket of the federal court on Sunday evening, CNN reported. The specific order was not immediately available, according to the cable news outlet.

While the gag order was on hold, Trump posted a comment on social media calling special counsel Jack Smith “deranged” and saying that former chief of staff Mark Meadows would be a lying coward if he testified for the prosecution, the Post reported.

A request for comment was sent Sunday to Todd Blanche, a Trump attorney, according to the AP.

In a social media post on Sunday, Trump acknowledged that the gag order was back in effect, call it, calling it “NOT CONSITUTIONAL!” the AP reported.