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The federal judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s election interference case in Washington, D.C., gave him a victory of sorts in a ruling she issued on Tuesday.
In a four-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan granted Trump’s legal team extra time to file motions regarding evidence in the case, The Messenger reported.
“Trump’s attorneys may file motions for subpoenas until Nov. 27, and motions seeking to compel prosecutors to produce evidence by Dec. 13. Previously, the deadline for those filings was scheduled for Nov. 9,” the report said. “The types of motions covered by the order deal with discovery–the legal term for the exchange of records and information between parties prior to trial–rather than legal arguments.”
The ruling is a partial victory for the former president after his legal team filed a motion last week asking the judge for a Feb. 9, 2024, deadline to file motions for subpoenas and to allow motions to compel on an ongoing basis.
Last week, Trump’s attorneys said that federal prosecutors had turned over some 13 million pages of documents in the case, arguing they needed more time to review them.
Late last month, Chutkan threw the former president a lifeline in a late Sunday filing.
Newsweek reported that Chutkan turned away a request from the Department of Justice to put Trump in jail for violating a gag order she re-imposed on him. In a footnote reinstating the gag order, the judge denied federal prosecutors’ request to incorporate her order into the conditions of Trump’s release.
“Even assuming that request is procedurally proper, the court concludes that granting it is not necessary to effectively enforce the order at this time,” she wrote.
The order lifted a temporary hold she placed on her initial gag order, determining that “the right to a fair trial is not (Trump’s) alone but belongs also to the government and the public.”
Chutkan “also denied Trump’s request to issue a long-term stay of the order, which bars the former president from publicly targeting court personnel, potential witnesses, or the special counsel’s team, while his appeal of it played out,” CNN added.
Former federal prosecutor and elected state attorney Michael McAuliffe told the outlet that the judge was very likely merely being “careful and deliberate” in her ruling because the case has drawn immense scrutiny.
Earlier this month, Chutkan temporarily froze the gag order she previously issued against the 45th president “to give the parties more time to brief her on the former president’s request to pause the order while his appeal of it plays out,” CNN reported at the time.
The outlet added: “Chutkan also said that the Justice Department has until Wednesday to respond to Trump’s request for a longer pause on the gag order and that Trump would have until the following Saturday to reply to the government’s filing. Trump has already appealed the gag order to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and in a 33-page filing on Friday, his attorneys urged Chutkan to pause the order while that appeal plays out.”
After she reimposed it, Trump went off over it on his Truth Social platform.
“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,” he wrote.
“This order, according to many legal scholars, is unthinkable! 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.