D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has issued an administrative stay, agreeing to temporarily pause her partial gag order of former President Donald Trump to give the parties time to submit appeal briefs. 

The stay is not related to the merits of the case.

Late Friday afternoon in a court filing, Trump defense attorneys asked Judge Chutkan to stay the limited gag order she issued against Trump in the 2020 election conspiracy criminal case, while Trump appeals the order, arguing that it’s unconstitutional.

On Monday, Judge Chutkan ordered Trump not to make posts or statements “targeting” court staff, potential witnesses in the case, special counsel Jack Smith or his family. Prosecutors made a lengthy argument that Trump’s posts could contribute to danger or violence and could contaminate the jury pool ahead of his March 4, 2024 trial here in Washington, D.C.

Trump’s latest filing argues the gag order and the prosecution are politically motivated. The defense wrote “No Court in American history has imposed a gag order on a … defendant who is campaigning for public office-least of all on the leading candidate for President.”

And in a passage that seemed to channel Trump’s own voice, the court filing did not refer to his title in past tense. 

“President Trump is the forty-fifth President of the United States and the leading candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election,” defense attorneys wrote. “He has dominating leads in the race for the Republican nomination, and he leads President Biden.”

The filing also said, “President Trump respectfully requests that this Court issue its ruling on this stay motion by Tuesday, October 24, 2023, after which President Trump intends to seek an emergency stay from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.”