Judge Issues Limited Gag Order Stopping Trump From Making Threats


A Colorado judge has issued formal restrictions amid that state’s court case challenging Donald Trump’s eligibility for office that block the issuance of threats or other rhetoric that could impede a targeted individual’s participation in the proceedings.

This judge did not tailor her demands specifically to the former president, but there is obviously extensive precedent that establishes he’s among the most likely to undertake such behavior in the first place. Thus, the most immediate application appears to be to him. Federal authorities have sought similar restrictions in the federal criminal case that alleges election interference by Trump, and he’s also under prohibitions on any threatening public commentary amid the similarly styled criminal case he is facing from local Georgia prosecutors.

In the Colorado case, also subject to the judge’s prohibitions were public comments that could create “material prejudice” in the proceedings, which appears to mean (to paraphrase) that participants can’t conduct de facto litigation through their public arguments, whether these claims are fashioned with a potential jury in mind or effectively any other relevant target. There are strict standards for the presentation of evidence in court proceedings, and there is a stark difference between those presentations and whatever on earth Trump is telling Truth Social, his alternative social media platform.

There is also, of course, the question of enforcement in the event that some individual subject to these restrictions is found to be in violation. Colorado Judge Sarah B. Wallace left the possibilities for consequences, if needed, somewhat open-ended. “This Court’s power under paragraph 5, above, shall include, but not be limited to: (1) holding in contempt of court any party or counsel who commit any such violations; (2) ordering the payment of monetary sanctions; (3) imposing evidentiary or issue sanctions; (4) any combination of the above; and (5) any other remedy which is fair, just and appropriate to effectuate the spirit and intent of this Protective Order,” the order says. It’s dated to Friday, September 22.