Donald Trump trial for the 2020 election: most of the speech restrictions restored

A US appeals court on Friday (December 8) reinstated most of the restrictions on the freedom of speech of Donald Trump and the prosecution over his federal trial for his allegedly illicit maneuvers aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 election

Donald Trump trial for the 2020 election: most of the speech restrictions restored

A US appeals court on Friday (December 8) reinstated most of the restrictions on the freedom of speech of Donald Trump and the prosecution over his federal trial for his allegedly illicit maneuvers aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 election.

The federal trial of the ex-president, current favorite in the Republican primaries, is scheduled to open on March 4, 2024. Judge Tanya Chutkan, who will preside over the proceedings, in October banned the parties from any public comments “targeting” the prosecutors, court staff and witnesses in this case.

The three judges of the federal appeals court in Washington, seized by Mr. Trump who contested this decision, reinstated it, tightening it slightly, lifting the suspension that they had imposed on November 3, the time to rule in bottom.

“We do not take this decision lightly.”

He will now be free to lash out against special prosecutor Jack Smith, who, "as a senior government official exercising ultimate control over the conduct of the investigation," according to the appeals court, "is not more entitled to protection from legitimate public criticism than the institution he represents,” namely the Department of Justice.

On the other hand, any comments against colleagues, as well as court staff or their families, intended to “materially influence or cause third parties to materially influence their work” remain prohibited.

This ban also applies to “witnesses known or reasonably foreseeable with respect to their potential participation in the investigation or criminal proceeding”. “We do not take this decision lightly,” wrote Judge Patricia Millett in the ruling written on behalf of the court.

"Mr. Trump is a former president and current presidential candidate, and there is strong public interest in what he has to say. But Mr. Trump is also a defendant in a criminal trial and must follow the same rules as everyone else,” she adds.