A judge in Georgia issued a gag order in a fraud case after President Donald Trump assailed one of the defendants on social media last week. The restraining order was issued after the president posted tweets which mentioned both a local assistant district attorney and one of the defendants. Judge John Rotensberg wrote in his order that “the parties are hereby prohibited from making any extrajudicial statements to any media outlet or other third party relating to this case.” He also wrote that “the President should not be using his position to influence criminal investigations and trials.”
The judge’s ruling is necessary to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial. The order is also a reminder that no one, not even the president of the United States, is above the law. The president’s tweets sent a clear message that he expected the prosecutor and judge to prioritize his wishes in the case, which went far beyond the boundaries of his official presidential duties. The order serves to keep the president from interfering in the criminal proceedings and ensure that the accused receives a fair trial, free from potential outside influences.