The judge in the federal trial of former US President Donald Trump over his alleged illegal attempts to overturn the 2020 election results has reinstated restrictions on any public comment by parties targeting prosecutors, court staff and witnesses.
In addition, a court in Colorado (west) began hearings, on Monday, on an appeal filed by a group of anti-corruption citizens demanding the withdrawal of Donald Trump’s 2024 ballots in that state, on the grounds that his actions during the 2020 elections will exacerbate the problem. incapacitate.
The judge in the federal trial scheduled for March 4 in Washington, Tanya Chutkan, on October 16 issued a series of restrictions on public comment about the case, which concerns both the prosecution and defense. However, it suspended it on October 20 following an appeal by Donald Trump’s lawyers, giving the parties until October 28 to present their arguments.
In its decision to reinstate these restrictions, which were published overnight from Sunday to Monday, it cited in particular a comment the defendant posted on his Truth Social network on October 24, i.e. after the suspension, about his last chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
The former president raised the possibility that the latter would testify against him in exchange for an offer of immunity from special prosecutor Jack Smith, behavior worthy of the “weak and cowardly,” in his words. He concluded: “I don’t think Mark Meadows is one of them, but who knows?”
The judge stressed that this type of attack against a potential witness would certainly fall under the ban.
The Republican primary favorite on Monday responded to his network by accusing the judge of “hating” him and being unable to guarantee him a fair trial.
In September, Judge Chutkan rejected a request from the former president’s lawyer to step down, stressing her impartiality.
Under this ruling, Donald Trump is again prohibited from calling Jack Smith “crazy” and his colleagues “thugs.”
But he can continue to systematically attack his Democratic successor, Joe Biden, whom he calls a “scoundrel,” or accuse his administration of exploiting justice to exclude him from the race for the White House in 2024.
The former president’s landmark indictment on August 1 in this case, and then on August 14 by the state of Georgia on related facts, has opened a legal debate about his potential disqualification, leading to appeals in several states.
The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (Crew), which accuses Donald Trump of “inciting a violent mob” of hundreds of his supporters to storm the Capitol Building, the seat of Congress, on January 6, 2021, in order to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s victory, claims his disqualification.
“Mr. Trump was involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection,” the group’s lawyer, Eric Olson, said Monday in a Denver court.
The petitioners cite the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1868, which excludes from public liability any person who, after taking an oath to defend the Constitution, engages in acts of “rebellion.”
They are therefore calling on election authorities to remove ballots in Donald Trump’s name for the Republican primary, as well as any subsequent elections in Colorado.
Scott Geisler, a former Colorado official who represents Trump, denounced the “undemocratic” measure and called on the judge to reject it and leave the final say to voters.
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