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Federal appeals court upholds gag order on Trump, narrows restrictions on his speech

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 7: Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits at the defense table while waiting for proceedings to begin in his civil business fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court on December 7, 2023 in New York City. Trump's civil fraud trial alleges that he and his two sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump conspired to inflate his net worth on financial statements provided to banks and insurers to secure loans. New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued seeking $250 million in damages.  (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — A Washington federal appeals court upheld a gag order on former President Donald Trump concerning his 2020 election interference case. The appeals court also has narrowed restrictions on Trump’s speech.

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A federal appeals court upheld the gag order that was imposed a couple of months ago against Trump in the election interference case but the ruling narrowed terms to allow Trump to make a statement about special counsel Jack Smith who had filed two indictments against the former president, The New York Times reported. This was a change from the original gag order, CNN reported.

The three appellate judges agreed “that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s public statements pose a significant and imminent threat to the fair and orderly adjudication of the ongoing criminal proceeding, warranting a speech-constraining protective order,” according to the Times.

The new gag order bars from Trump talking about witnesses, prosecutors, the court and family members, according to CNN.

The gag order was imposed in October by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, according to The Associated Press. It barred Trump for making public statements that targeted Smith, other prosecutors, court staff and potential witnesses. It was lifted by the U.S. Court of Appeals of D.C.

Trump could appeal the ruling to a full court or to the United States Supreme Court, the AP reported.