CNN’s senior legal analyst, Elie Honig, weighed in on the legal complexities surrounding President Donald Trump’s First Amendment rights, particularly in the context of gag orders issued against him.
In October, District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a gag order preventing Trump from publicly targeting Special Counsel Jack Smith, the defense counsel, court staff, and potential witnesses in his legal matters. This order was temporarily halted by an appeals court in November, pending Trump’s appeal. Simultaneously, a New York appeals judge temporarily lifted a gag order in Trump’s civil fraud case, citing concerns about free speech.
Honig discussed the dual gag orders, emphasizing their narrow focus and the likelihood of upholding them on appeal. Addressing Trump’s argument that, as a presidential candidate, he possesses an enhanced First Amendment right to political speech, Honig acknowledged the constitutional priority given to political expression. He stated, “I actually think he’s right that as a candidate, and this applies to any candidate, not just Donald Trump, but you do have a heightened First Amendment right, but still I think the gag orders, both of them that we’ve been talking about, are narrow enough that they still respect the right.”
Honig also briefly touched on legal challenges based on the 14th Amendment aiming to remove Trump from the ballot. He expressed skepticism about the success of such challenges, suggesting those pursuing them should reconsider their efforts.
Honig is a rabid Trump hater, per his many horrible comments about the 45th President amid the president’s frivolous legal battles: