The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sided with former President Donald Trump and is asking the judge overseeing his criminal case in DC to reconsider her gag order.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan approved a request from special counsel Jack Smith to gag the former president over his posts on Truth Social.
Trump is appealing the order, which bars him and his lawyers from speech saying anything that might “target” possible witnesses, prosecutors, and court personnel involved in the trial.
The far-left organization argued in a court filing that the order is overly broad and violates the First Amendment.
“Former President, and now Defendant, Donald Trump has said many things,” the ACLU and its D.C. affiliate wrote in court filings, according to a report from The Hill. “Much that he has said has been patently false and has caused great harm to countless individuals, as well as to the Republic itself. Some of his words and actions have led him to this criminal indictment, which alleges grave wrongdoing in contempt of the peaceful transition of power.”
“But Trump retains a First Amendment right to speak, and the rest of us retain a right to hear what he has to say,” the filing continued.
The ACLU said that the vague order also violates his right to due process as he “cannot possibly know” what might violate the order.
“The entire order hinges on the meaning of the word ‘target,’” the ACLU wrote in its brief. “But that meaning is ambiguous, and fails to provide the fair warning that the Constitution demands, especially when, as here, it concerns a prior restraint on speech.”
Additionally, the ACLU said that the order will bar him from speaking about issues that may be important to his presidential campaign.
“This case is already one of the most talked-about trials of all time,” the ACLU wrote. “There may never have been a better-known criminal case in American history, or a better-known defendant. With that in mind, to the extent that the Court’s order seeks to prevent future statements from affecting the impartiality of the potential jury pool, the order seems unlikely to make much of a difference.”
In this case, Trump has been charged with four federal felony counts related to him allegedly attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It is one of four criminal indictments that he is battling.
Trump is currently the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.