Trump lawyers object to silence in election subversion case

By | November 20, 2023

10:25 a.m. ET, November 20, 2023

Judge Millett Skeptical of Allowing Trump’s Rhetoric ‘Aimed at Derailing’ Judicial Process

By Marshall Cohen of CNN

D.C. Circuit Judge Patricia Millett drew a distinction between campaign rhetoric and speech “aimed at derailing or corrupting the criminal justice process.”

These comments, and other comments during the hearing, indicate that at least Millett is leaning toward imposing some sort of speech restrictions against Trump, instead of agreeing with his position, which is to completely erase the order of silence from the books.

“Criminal speech is obviously subject to restrictions. But fundamental political speech is part of campaign speech,” said Trump lawyer John Sauer, arguing that the restrictions on all defendants against illegal speech, such as blatant witness tampering, are sufficient to protect the integrity of the case.

Cutting him off, Millet said: “To call it a ‘fundamental political speech’ raises the question of whether it is in fact a political speech, or whether it is a political speech aimed at to derail or corrupt the criminal justice process. You can’t just label it that and conclude your balance testing that way.

“We have to find a balance,” she added.

Sauer responded by arguing that the speech potentially restricted by the silence order is “inextricably linked to the issues that are being debated publicly in the context of the campaign.”

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