“We’re being railroaded. And I have other trials where we’re being railroaded. You saw yesterday where they took away my right to speak. I won’t be able to speak like I’m speaking to you,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday moments before he entered a New York courtroom to attend his ongoing civil fraud trial.
“I am leading Joe Biden and I’m being restricted. My speech has been taken away from me. I’m a candidate that’s running for office and I’m not allowed to speak,” Trump said, referring to the partial gag order issued Monday by US District Judge Tanya Chutkan.
The notice of appeal was filed with Chutkan on Tuesday.
The gag order restricts Trump’s ability to publicly target court personnel, potential witnesses or special counsel Jack Smith and his staff. The order does not impose restrictions on disparaging comments about Washington, DC – where the jury will take place – or certain comments about the Justice Department at large, both of which prosecutors requested.
“This is not about whether I like the language Mr. Trump uses,” Chutkan said in court Monday as she announced the order. “This is about language that presents a danger to the administration of justice.”
Trump had already been placed under a gag order by the New York state judge overseeing his fraud trial, who last month said that all parties in the case must not speak publicly about any members of the court staff, after the former president attacked the judge’s clerk in a social media post.
“Personal attacks of any member of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them,” Judge Arthur Engoron said last month when he issued his order.
Tuesday’s proceedings in the New York civil fraud case will include more testimony from Donna Kidder, the Trump Organization’s assistant controller.
Chutkan’s gag order specifies that it applies to all parties in the case – not just Trump – and their counsel and also extends to others who may be directed to make public statements about the case on behalf of the parties, such as spokespeople for Trump or the Justice Department.
“All interested parties in this matter, including the parties and their counsel, are prohibited from making any public statements, or directing others to make any public statements, that target (1) the Special Counsel prosecuting this case or his staff; (2) defense counsel or their staff; (3) any of this court’s staff or other supporting personnel; or (4) any reasonably foreseeable witness or the substance of their testimony,” her written order reads.
This story has been updated with additional developments.