The ongoing campaign by President Donald Trump and his allies to publicly vilify former FBI Director James Comey is clashing with a tip of the federal court order that has temporarily silenced Comey from publicly discussing his personal experiences within the agency.
On Monday, a federal judge issued a temporary gag order preventing Comey from responding to the frequent public attacks issued by the president and his aides. The order came in response to an emergency request by Trump’s legal team that sought to keep Comey from speaking out before the president’s lawyers had an opportunity to review the case.
The move was prompted by a heated exchange between Trump and Comey, with the latter accusing the president of lying during an interview with Fox News. Trump subsequently fired him.
In light of the court’s ruling, Trump and his lawyers are now barred from responding to Comey’s remarks or expressing any opinion on him. The gag order could potentially backfire and prove damaging to Trump should Comey appear in court to testify against him- which he almost certainly will.
It could place Trump’s legal counsel in a precarious situation, as any attempt to address accusations made by Comey while he is under the gag order might be interpreted as obstructing justice.
The order also adds another layer of intrigue to the case, as it raises questions over the appropriateness of Trump — and anyone else — publicly attacking an individual who is barred from speaking out.