On Jan. 13, 2021, a federal judge in the District of Columbia issued an order reinstating a modified version of the “gag order” that had been placed on former President Donald Trump’s legal team in the case surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill attack. The gag order, which bans lawyers representing Trump from making statements to the press that could undermine their ability to receive a fair trial, was temporarily lifted by the same judge a few weeks prior.
The judge’s amended order narrowed the scope of the original gag order, which barred lawyers, clients, and their representatives from publicly discussing matters concerning the case. Under the modified order, parties involved are still banned from making statements or arguments about the merits of the case or offering opinions as to the likely outcome of the proceedings.
However, the new order does allow the former president’s legal team to publicly discuss “background information and materials, and the propriety” of the government’s lawsuit. It also gives them the right to explain the facts of the case, as long as they “avoid rhetoric that may impair potential jurors’ impartiality.” The judge also noted that the order does not apply to public statements made from the sidelines, such as from public figures, voice actors, and legal scholars.