The DC Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday temporarily lifted the gag order imposed on Donald Trump by the judge overseeing his 2020 election interference case, the Associated Press reported.
The appeals court’s decision places the limited gag order on hold while it considers Trump’s request for a long pause as his appeal plays out. In its decision, the appeals court asserted that its temporary pause should not in any way be “construed” as the court “ruling on the merits” of Trump’s appeal.
Oral arguments on the former president’s appeal will be held before a 3-judge panel on November 20.
US District Judge Tanya Chutkin imposed the limited gag order last month to bar Trump from targeting court staff, prosecutors, and potential witnesses in public statements. However, Chutkin allowed Trump to continue to publicly assert his innocence and make his claims that the case was politically motivated.
Judge Chutkan temporarily lifted the gag order on October 20 while she considered Trump’s request to allow him to freely speak as he appealed the order. But the order was reinstated ten days later after prosecutors objected to Trump’s social media comments about former chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Trump’s legal team has vowed to take its appeal to the Supreme Court if necessary, arguing that the limited gag order is an unconstitutional restriction of the former president’s political speech.
Trump’s attorneys maintain that prosecutors have failed to provide evidence that any potential witnesses or court staff have felt intimidated by Trump’s social media tirades.
Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office has argued that Trump’s inflammatory remarks about those involved in the case could influence possible witnesses and undermine public confidence in the justice system.
Biden appointee Brad Garcia and Obama appointees Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard are scheduled to hear the former president’s appeal.