Trump Lawyer Comments After Gag Order

0
3133

Yesterday, a New York judge issued a gag order against former President Donald Trump, prohibiting him from publicly commenting about witnesses and court staff ahead of his upcoming trial on hush money payments.

Justice Juan Merchan granted a request by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, citing Trump’s previous inflammatory and threatening statements towards those involved in the case.

The April 15 trial involves 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up reimbursements to his former lawyer for a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump has repeatedly denied allegations of a sexual encounter with Daniels, who he paid to keep quiet before the 2016 election.

The gag order not only restricts Trump from speaking about the witnesses in the case but also from making any comments about court staff, prosecutors, or their family members if it is meant to interfere with the case. This is a reasonable precaution, given Trump’s history of publicly deriding trial jurors and grand jurors, as acknowledged by the judge in a previous ruling.

Trump’s lawyers argue that a gag order would leave him defenseless against attacks from political opponents.

The gag order is similar to restrictions imposed by a federal judge last year in a criminal case regarding Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden. This is not the first time Trump has faced a gag order, as he was fined $15,000 for violating one in a separate civil fraud case.

As Trump faces a total of four criminal cases, it is important to note that this hush money trial is the only one that may reach trial before the upcoming election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has called them politically motivated.