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Judge temporarily halts Trump’s limited gag order in federal election interference case

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WASHINGTON — The federal judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s election interference case in Washington, D.C., on Friday temporarily halted the limited gag order she had placed on the former president on Monday.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan requested briefings from the government and from Trump’s lawyers following Trump’s appeal of her order earlier Friday.

In her order on Monday, Chutkan ruled that Trump is prohibited from making or reposting statements “publicly targeting” special counsel Jack Smith and his staff, as well as Chutkan’s staff and the staff of other D.C. district court personnel.

She additionally barred him from making statements about potential witnesses in the case and the substance of their potential testimony.

The decision appeared to place a court-ordered restriction on much of the rhetoric that is central to Trump’s campaign to regain the White House in 2024.

Smith’s team had urged the judge to impose restrictions on Trump in order to protect potential jurors in the case, citing the former president’s conduct on social media regarding people involved in his various legal battles.

Trump in August pleaded not guilty to charges of undertaking a “criminal scheme” to overturn the results of the 2020 election by enlisting a slate of so-called “fake electors,” using the Justice Department to conduct “sham election crime investigations,” trying to enlist the vice president to “alter the election results,” and promoting false claims of a stolen election as the Jan. 6 riot raged — all in an effort to subvert democracy and remain in power.

The former president has denied all wrongdoing and denounced the charges as “a persecution of a political opponent.”

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