US District Judge Tanya Chutkan is overseeing the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith‘s office against Mr Trump over the 6 January 2021 insurrection and the months-long attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
On Sunday, Judge Chutkan reinstated a gag order against Mr Trump that was initially put in place earlier this month, restricting what he can and cannot say about the proceedings in public.
About an hour and 15 minutes after the gag order was reinstated, the former president lashed out at his former Attorney General Bill Barr, a potential witness in his federal election subversion case – a move that may well be a violation of the judge’s order.
In a Truth Social post on Sunday night, Mr Trump branded Mr Barr “gutless and lazy”.
“I called Bill Barr Dumb, Weak, Slow Moving, Lethargic, Gutless, and Lazy, a RINO WHO COULDN’T DO THE JOB,” Mr Trump wrote about his former top law enforcement official.
“He just didn’t want to be Impeached, which the Radical Left Lunatics were preparing to do. I was tough on him in the White House, for good reason, so now this Moron says about me, to get even, ‘his verbal skills are limited.’ Well, that’s one I haven’t heard before. Tell that to the biggest political crowds in the history of politics, by far. Bill Barr is a LOSER!”
Mr Trump also lashed out at Judge Chutkan and the gag order in another post.
“I have just learned that the very Biased, Trump Hating Judge in D.C., who should have RECUSED herself due to her blatant and open loathing of your favorite President, ME, has reimposed a GAG ORDER which will put me at a disadvantage against my prosecutorial and political opponents,” Mr Trump said in a Truth Social post after midnight on Monday.
“This order, according to many legal scholars, is unthinkable!”
He added: “It illegally and unconstitutionally takes away my First Amendment Right of Free Speech, in the middle of my campaign for President, where I am leading against BOTH Parties in the Polls,” he added. “Few can believe this is happening, but I will appeal. How can they tell the leading candidate that he, and only he, is seriously restricted from campaigning in a free and open manner? It will not stand!”
The former president also went after the Biden Administration on Truth Social on Sunday, writing: “The Corrupt Biden administration just took away my First Amendment Right To Free Speech. NOT CONSTITUTIONAL! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN...”
Mr Barr appeared at an event at the Institute of Politics and the University of Chicago last week, where he said that Mr Trump’s “verbal skills are limited”.
“If you get him away from ‘very, very, very’ ... you know, the adjectives ... they’re unfamiliar to him and they sort of spill out, and he goes too far,” Mr Barr added.
“He’s not very disciplined when it comes to what he says.”
The gag order was issued by Judge Chutkan after the prosecution noted that Mr Trump may intimidate witnesses or incite violence against prosecutors through his public comments.
The order states that Mr Trump cannot target court staff, possible witnesses, the special counsel, or members of his office in his public comments.
The order was on pause for more than a week after Mr Trump put forward an appeal before the order was deemed constitutional and reinstated.
If Mr Trump is found to have violated the order, Judge Chutkan may issue a penalty. Previously, some who have not adhered to their gag orders have been jailed.
Mr Trump was hit with a $10,000 fine earlier this month after he violated a gag order in his New York civil fraud case by telling the press that Judge Arthur Engoron was “very partisan”.
Mr Trump has argued in court that the gag orders go against his right to free speech and restrict his ability to speak about his legal woes while he’s campaigning for president.