US Court of Appeals starts hearing into Donald Trump gag order

Doanld Trump. Photo courtesy: Wallpaper cave

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Washington/IBNS: The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit began a hearing on Monday into former US President Donald Trump’s challenge against a gag order in his criminal case regarding his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case, issued the gag order last month after the government had shown that Trump’s public attacks on individuals, including those related to the case, had led to them being threatened and harassed.

Judge Patricia Millet, one of the three judges on the panel hearing the appeal, sharply challenged the merit of the Trump team’s proposed legal test of “clear and present danger” as a basis for a gag order instead.

She disputed whether it presented a different standard for trial participants compared to outsiders; moreover, criminal law would likely already cover actions that involved clear and present danger.

Millet also noted that the Supreme Court had ruled that “clear and present danger” was not a mechanical formulation, but a balancing test.

In Trump’s case, it would mean striking a balance between political campaign speech and the integrity of the criminal trial, but in Millett’s view, his team was not able to provide anything other than a criminal law violation to satisfy their proposed test.

The court adjourned the case until November 30.