Trump lawyers ask DC Judge Chutkan to recuse herself, slam DOJ's 'unconstitutional' gag order request

Trump's team referred to the proposed gag order as nothing more than a "desperate effort at censorship."

On Monday, Donald Trump's lawyers urged US District Judge Tanya Chutkan to reject a request for a narrow gag order against the former president, accusing Washington, DC prosecutors of trying to "unconstitutionally silence" him. The order would bar Trump from speaking out against witnesses, lawyers, and anyone else involved in his federal 2020 election case.

The Trump team had previously asked Chutkan to recuse herself over comments she had made about the former president and January 6 in the past, however, Special Counsel Jack Smith has dismissed the concern entirely.

"The prosecution may not like President Trump's entirely valid criticisms, but neither it nor this Court are the filter for what the public may hear," his attorneys wrote to Chutkan. "If the prosecution wishes to avoid criticism for abusing its power, the solution is simple: stop abusing its power. The Constitution allows no alternative." They went on to refer to the proposed gag order as nothing more than a "desperate effort at censorship."

The Trump team accused the prosecution of trying to "poison President Trump's defense," slamming them for asking the court to "take the extraordinary step of stripping President Trump of his First Amendment freedoms during the most important months of his campaign against President Biden."

Prosecutors claim that Trump has repeatedly posted "false and inflammatory" statements about Chutkan and members of the government's legal team on social media, however, the former president's attorneys said there was no evidence anything he said had actually intimidated anyone. They argued Trump was simply exercising his First Amendment rights.

Chutkan has set Trump's trial date for March 4, 2024, the day before Super Tuesday, an important date in the Republican primary race.

The former president slammed the move, saying it amounted to "election interference." He has vowed to appeal the decision in hopes of having the trial date moved back.

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