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Appeals court hearing gag order in federal 2020 election subversion case

The judges on Monday have brought up the possibility that jurors in the case could be the targets of online doxxing as a result of former President Donald Trump’s speech.

“Is there any way, preventatively, to protect someone’s technology? Like let’s say I’m a prospective juror, can I be protected technologically from like doxxing?” Circuit Judge Patricia Millett asked an attorney from the special counsel’s office at one point.

“Because we do have — as you appreciate — the problem of speech by the defendant, and then it has the knock-on effect with the loyalists’ zeal, and that’s then, you know, what causes direct efforts at threatening and harassing individuals,” she said.

Assistant special counsel Cecil Woods VanDevender said he wasn’t aware of any technological tools that would work to mitigate the issue “at the source.”

The potential issue of online threats being directed toward jurors as a result of Trump’s speech has been a recurring topic during Monday’s hearing over the gag order issued against him, and it could factor into the judges’ final decision on whether or not they’ll endorse the restrictions imposed by a lower court.

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