Donald Trump may have violated a recently reinstated gag order by tweeting about a potential witness in his election prosecution.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the former president’s federal election subversion criminal case, reinstated the order she issued earlier this month, limiting Trump’s ability to speak publicly about the case, in which he is accused of conspiring to tamper with the results of the 2020 presidential election.
But, only 75 minutes after Chutkan said that the order had been reinstated, Trump appeared to breach it by insulting William P. Barr, his former attorney general and possible witness.
“I called Bill Barr Dumb, Weak, Slow Moving, Lethargic, Gutless, and Lazy, a RINO WHO COULDN’T DO THE JOB,” Trump said on his Truth Social platform.
“His verbal skills are limited,” Barr remarked of the former president earlier this week at an event at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.
“If you get him away from ‘very, very, very’ … you know, the adjectives … they’re unfamiliar to him and they sort of spill out, and he goes too far,” he added. “He’s not very disciplined when it comes to what he says.”
Trump responded to the insult by saying, “So now this Moron says about me, to get even, ‘his verbal skills are limited.'” That’s something I’ve never heard before. Tell that to the largest political crowds in political history. Bill Barr is a CHEATER!”
Trump may not target court personnel, possible witnesses, or the special counsel and his staff in public statements, according to the gag order, which was granted after prosecutors expressed fear that Trump could intimidate witnesses or inspire damage against prosecutors through his public comments.
When Trump appealed the order, it was frozen for nine days, but courts ruled it was constitutional and reinstated it.
If Trump is found to have breached the gag order, Chutkan has the authority to impose punishment. Gag order violators have been imprisoned in several situations.
Meanwhile, Trump was fined $10,000 earlier this month for breaching a gag order in a business-fraud lawsuit by telling reporters that the judge in the case, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, was “very partisan.”
Trump complained on Truth Social after writing about Barr and reacted to the newly enforced gag, saying, “The corrupt Biden administration just took away my First Amendment right to free speech.” NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION! “RESTORE AMERICA’S GREATNESS.”
He has stated in court that the gag order violates his free speech rights and inhibits his ability to address the subject on the campaign trail.
The former president is now subject to two gag orders that prevent him from publicly discussing parts of his legal matters.