A federal court in Nevada issued a gag order to a top Trump ally designed to block any potential “casual or formal communication” that could interfere with a Justice Department investigation into former campaign aide Roger Stone. The order puts a spotlight on President Donald Trump’s efforts to limit the investigation, which could potentially involve multiple members of his inner circle.
The gag order, issued late Monday, showed how the president is using every legal tool available to protect the people closest to him. It was imposed on former Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, a key witness in the Stone case, and could provide a potential roadblock to investigators if Trump chooses to target other individuals.
The gag order was issued just hours after a full-page advertisement taken out by the Trump campaign accused Stone of breaking the law. But it’s not likely the mission to protect Stone’s inner circle will end with Bannon.
The gag order seemingly suggests that the president and his legal team could be anticipating more potential witnesses from within the Trump orbit. Trump has already made public threats of retribution against individuals involved in the investigation, warning Stone to “not break” amid his legal woes.
The gag order is another sign that the president is willing to go to extreme lengths to protect those close to him, and minimize the window for investigators to meet with potential witnesses. As the DOJ probe intensifies, it’s likely that the president’s efforts to limit the investigation won’t be limited to the confrontation between Bannon and the federal courts. There’s no telling who else may have to face the wrath of the Trump campaign as the investigation progresses.