The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied former President Donald Trump’s request for the full court to review the appeal of his gag order, setting the stage for an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Trump requested on Dec. 18 that the full D.C. Circuit rehear his appeal of a gag order imposed by District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing his election interference case in Washington, D.C. In a brief order Tuesday, his request was denied.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court upheld the gag order, with some minor changes, in December. The court lifted the portion that barred Trump from making statements about special counsel Jack Smith and narrowed the part restricting his speech about witnesses to only include statements about “their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”
“Mr. Trump’s documented pattern of speech and its demonstrated real-time, real-world consequences pose a significant and imminent threat to the functioning of the criminal trial process in this case in two respects,” Obama-appointed Judge Patricia Millett wrote for the court in her Dec. 18 opinion.
Trump can still appeal Chutkan’s gag order to the Supreme Court.
Chutkan first imposed the gag order in October. As narrowed by the D.C. Circuit, the order prevents Trump from making public statements targeting “(1) counsel in the case other than the Special Counsel, (2) members of the court’s staff and counsel’s staffs, or (3) the family members of any counsel or staff member—if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with, or to cause others to materially interfere with, counsel’s or staff’s work in this criminal case, or with the knowledge that such interference is highly likely to result.”
Trump’s 2020 election case is currently on hold, according to an order by Chutkan, while the appeal of his bid to dismiss the case based on presidential immunity is pending. Chutkan declined to toss the case based on Trump’s claim of presidential immunity Dec. 1.
Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.