A recent court gag order has collided with President Trump’s recent attack on former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, a likely witness in his impeachment hearings. During his campaign rally in Minneapolis on October 10, President Trump criticized Yovanovitch, calling her “bad news.” This statement came as a surprise, as there is a court gag order in force that prohibits any parties from making public statements regarding the ongoing criminal investigation into Former Trump adviser Paul Manafort.
While President Trump’s attack on Yovanovitch has been highly controversial, it is unclear whether or not it violates the gag order. It is possible that because the attack related to matters unrelated to the criminal investigation, it does not violate the order. However, legal experts have voiced concerns that his remarks could potentially have a chilling effect on court proceedings and potential witnesses.
In response to the President’s comments, the House Democrats have stated that they are considering Yovanovitch’s testimony in their impeachment inquiry. It remains to be seen whether or not the President’s attack will affect her credibility or any other related witnesses in the investigation.