Donald Trump has received significant support in his ongoing push to halt the gag orders that prevent him from openly discussing multiple legal challenges as he attempts to campaign for another term in the White House.
One such statement, however, did not come from an ally of the former president. The left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement on Wednesday that it had filed a brief arguing that the order imposed by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan represented a violation of Trump’s constitutional right to free speech.
Bet y'all never saw THIS👇🏼 coming!!!
ACLU actually did something right…
They've sided with Trump on the BS gag order that was placed on him!!
You know it was bad if the ACLU has Trump's back… THEY ABSOLUTELY HATE HIM!!!
— SaltyGoat (@SaltyGoat17) October 26, 2023
“The obvious and unprecedented public interest in this prosecution, as well as the widespread political speech that it has generated and will continue to generate, only underscores the need to apply the most stringent First Amendment standard to a restraint on Defendant’s speech rights,” the organization wrote.
According to the ACLU’s assessment, the gag order as written includes “unknown and unknowable” restrictions, including a passage that vaguely prohibits Trump from making certain statements about Chutkan, prosecutors, officers of the court, or witnesses in the case, which relates to the 2020 election.
“Reading the order, Defendant cannot possibly know what he is permitted to say, and what he is not,” the statement continued.
The ACLU echoed the argument put forward by Trump’s defense team, asserting that the 2024 GOP presidential primary front-runner should be provided an opportunity to make his case to voters.
“Defendant’s ability to speak publicly about the substance of the prosecution, even including potential witnesses and testimony, is in many ways inextricable from the 2024 presidential campaign in which he is a declared candidate,” the organization argued.
In a separate court filing, Trump’s lawyers wrote: “By restricting President Trump’s speech, the Gag Order eviscerates the rights of his audiences including hundreds of millions of American citizens who the Court now forbids from listening to President Trump’s thoughts on important issues.”
Although Chutkan has temporarily suspended the gag order as the defense pursues an appeal, special counsel Jack Smith is urging her to reconsider.
The judge defended her decision to implement the order earlier this month, declaring: “This is not about whether I like the language Mr. Trump uses. This is about language that presents a danger to the administration of justice.”