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Judge Chutkan has taken away one of Trump’s main PR strategies by stopping him from smearing court officials, Jack Smith, and witnesses.

Scott Macfarlane of CBS News tweeted:

Judge says “Without this restriction, there’s a risk witnesses can be intimidated” and that other future witnesses can be dissuaded from coming forward

— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) October 16, 2023

!! Judge says if any party violates restriction, she will consider sanctions

“As may be necessary”

She did not specify what the possible sanctions would be

Then she adjourns hearing. It’s over

Partial gag order is IN PLACE

— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) October 16, 2023

Donald Trump is running for president to potentially avoid felony conviction and prison. Trump’s legal issues and his presidential campaign are intertwined. Trump is using his presidential campaign to poison the well in the criminal cases against him. Attacks on prosecutors, the court, and witnesses are intended to tamper with the case and contaminate the jury pool while also scoring political points as he tries to nail himself to a cross of political persecution.

The gag order was well reasoned and thought out because it allowed Trump to campaign. He isn’t restricted from talking about President Biden or the Biden administration, but he can’t carry out a smear campaign that would tamper with the trial.

Trump has a track record of attacking court officials and prosecutors, so it would be wise for every judge hearing a Trump criminal trial to impose a similar gag order.

The gag order will take a bite out of Trump’s legal and political strategies.

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