A federal appeals court has placed a temporary hold on a gag order relating to former US President Donald Trump in a high-profile case revolving around the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
The order was issued on Wednesday, May 12th by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in response to a request from Trump’s legal team, which sought to block an earlier gag order barring the former president or anyone associated with his defense team from making additional “inflammatory” statements outside of court.
The now-stalled gag order was originally issued on April 9th by the US District Court for the District of Columbia following the release of a statement from Trump’s lawyers accusing the Justice Department of “weaponizing the judicial system” against their client.
The Justice Department argued that the statement could have a prejudicial effect on the jury pool and impede the progress of the criminal proceedings against the Capitol insurrectionists.
In response to the appeals court decision, Trump’s lawyers released a statement saying that they were “pleased” by the decision. The statement added that the former president’s legal team had always maintained that such gag orders were unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment.
The District of Columbia Circuit Court has yet to issue a ruling on the merits of the gag order and the appeals court has only granted a temporary suspension pending further legal action from the US District Court.
The criminal case involves more than 400 individuals facing charges related to the Capitol insurrection, including Trump himself. The former president has been accused of inciting the riot and charged with obstruction of Congress. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and is currently awaiting trial in federal court.
As the trial looms closer, the fate of the gag order and the limits that it may place on Trump’s lawyers or any other associated with the defense remain to be seen. Until then, it appears the courts are still hashing out the specifics.