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    Appeals court lets Trump gag order stand in Jan. 6 case
    • January 23, 2024

    By Hannah Rabinowitz, Katelyn Polantz and Devan Cole | CNN

    The federal appeals court in Washington, DC, declined to rehear arguments over whether former President Donald Trump can be prohibited from talking about witnesses and court staff while he awaits trial in the special counsel’s January 6 criminal case.

    Trump has unsuccessfully tried to challenge the gag order placed on him by Judge Tanya Chutkan late last year through appeals.

    The 11 judges from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday declined to touch the case after a three-judge panel previously upheld the gag order against Trump. There were no statements or dissents made by any of the judges.

    Trump can appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, and his attorneys have previously indicated that they would appeal the matter to the nation’s highest court if necessary.

    CNN has reached out to Trump’s legal team for comment.

    In a unanimous decision issued last month, the three appellate judges said that Trump can be barred from talking about witnesses as well as prosecutors, the court staff and their family members.

    But the court said the gag order does not apply to comments made about special counsel Jack Smith and narrowed the prohibition Trump had regarding speaking about witnesses in the case, a change from the original gag order.

    The three judges on the panel — Patricia Millett, Nina Pillard and Bradley Garcia, all Democratic appointees — found Trump’s words on the public stage could undermine the fairness of a jury trial, sway or intimidate witnesses and imperil court staff. The court said that justifies limiting Trump’s speech, even while he campaigns to return to the presidency.

    “Mr. Trump’s documented pattern of speech and its demonstrated real-time, real-world consequences pose a significant and imminent threat to the functioning of the criminal trial process in this case,” the appeals court wrote.

    This story has been updated with additional details.

    ​ Orange County Register