Judge says Trump’s free speech right ‘not absolute’ in Jan. 6 trial

August 12, 2023

At the conclusion of a two-hour hearing on Friday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said her order won’t give prosecutors everything they sought to clamp down on Mr. Trump‘s public comments before trial. But the judge said she will restrict Mr. Trump in some ways: for example, limiting his access to evidence deemed “sensitive.”The judge said Mr. Trump‘s status as a candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination doesn’t affect her decision. The former president’s lawyers said the request by Mr. Smith to bar Mr. Trump from talking about the case was too broad and would violate Mr. Trump‘s First Amendment rights. She also rejected a proposal by Mr. Trump‘s team to share any witness interviews or transcripts with the public. The judge cautioned both sides to prevent a “carnival” atmosphere in the case before a trial is held.