Appeals court judges Patricia Millet and Cornelia Pillard hinted on Monday that they are considering narrowing the already-limited gag order to allow Donald Trump to levy some public attacks against special counsel Jack Smith and his team.
The current gag order prevents the former president to lay any attack on special or his staff via his public statement. However, he is allowed to broadly attack the Justice Department, in order to not only proclaim his innocence but also claim that Smith’s prosecution is “politically motivated.”
Trump cannot be forced under a gag order to “speak Miss Manners while everyone else is throwing targets” at him during a theoretical GOP presidential primary debate, said Millet.
On Monday, the judges shun light on the possibility of the jurors being the target of online doxxing as a result of Trump’s speech.
“Is there any way, preventatively, to protect someone’s technology? Like let’s say I’m a prospective juror, can I be protected technologically from like doxxing?” Millet asked an attorney from the special counsel’s point of view.
Assistant special counsel Cecil Woods VanDevender said that he was not aware of any technical tools that could be proved helpful to mitigate the issue “at the source.”
As a result of former president’s speech, the potential issue of the jurors being subjected to online threats has been a recurring topic during Monday’s hearing over the gag order issued against him. This could also play an important factor into the judges’ final verdict on whether or not they will retain the restrictions imposed by a lower court.