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Judge Reinstates Trump Silence Order In Election Subversion Case

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A federal judge has reinstated a limited gag order on former President Donald Trump in his 2020 presidential election subversion case.

It prevents him from criticizing court staff, prosecutors and possible witnesses between now and his trial.

Judge Tanya Chutkan had temporarily lifted the order earlier this month so his lawyers could appeal but reinstated it on Sunday.

An hour after the news emerged, Mr Trump called the judge “Trump hating”.

The gag order “will put me at a disadvantage against my prosecutorial and political opponents”, he said in a post on his Truth Social social media account.

The Republican frontrunner for president in 2024 was charged earlier this year over his alleged efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat by Democrat Joe Biden.

The four counts in this indictment are conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.

He has pleaded not guilty on all counts and the trial is scheduled for March.

Special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the investigation, originally requested the gag order on Mr Trump, arguing his outspoken comments could “prejudice” trial participants, including jurors and court staff.

The former president has previously called Mr Smith, among other insults, a “deranged lunatic” and a “thug”.

No further details on why Judge Chutkan re-imposed the order was immediately available.

His lawyers had argued the gag order violates his right to free speech.

Mr Trump’s legal team had also asked Judge Chutkan to recuse herself from the case, arguing past comments she had made created a perception of bias against him.

In September, she refused that request to step aside, saying Mr Trump’s lawyers had failed to present evidence of those claims.

The former president is also under a gag order in a separate ongoing civil fraud trial in New York.

The judge in that case has issued two separate fines against Mr Trump for violating that order, one for $5,000 (£4,100) and one for $10,000.

Written by: Blessing Nyor

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