Judge says Donald Trump can attend his son Barron's graduation

 May 1, 2024

Next month, the judge supervising the business records trial of former President Donald Trump will grant him permission to attend the high school commencement of his son Barron Trump.

According to the New York Times and Breitbart News, Judge Juan Merchan declared on Tuesday that Trump might be granted a leave of absence on May 17, the date of his son's commencement.

“I don’t think the May 17 date is a problem,” Merchan said after waiting for weeks to issue a ruling on Trump’s request for the day off.

Per Business Insider, Breitbart News' Hannah Knudsen noted that Merchan had previously acknowledged the request but declined to render a decision.

Previous Decision

“It really depends on if we are on time and where we are in the trial,” Merchan had originally said, according to the outlet.

Trump predicted he would be unable to attend Barron's commencement in an April 16 Truth Social post and criticized Merchan for his delay in reaching a conclusion:

Who will explain for me, to my wonderful son, Barron, who is a GREAT Student at a fantastic School, that his Dad will likely not be allowed to attend his Graduation Ceremony, something that we have been talking about for years, because a seriously Conflicted and Corrupt New York State Judge wants me in Criminal Court on a bogus ‘Biden Case’ which, according to virtually all Legal Scholars and Pundits, has no merit, and should NEVER have been brought.

Wendell Husebà of Breitbart News reported that Merchan, despite presiding over this matter on Tuesday in favor of Trump, ruled that he had previously violated the court's gag order and subjected the 45th president to criminal contempt and jail time threats.

“Defendant is hereby warned that the Court will not tolerate continued willful violations of its lawful orders and that if necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, it will impose an incarceratory punishment,” the judge wrote in the order.

In addition to removing two posts on Trump's campaign website and seven from Truth Social, Merchan penalized him $1,000 for each of the nine infractions. Accusing Merchan of trying to silence him for using his First Amendment rights, Trump went on Truth Social on Tuesday afternoon.

Trump's Comments

“This Judge has taken away my Constitutional Right to FREE SPEECH. I am the only Presidential Candidate in History to be GAGGED,” he wrote. “This whole ‘Trial’ is RIGGED, and by taking away my FREEDOM OF SPEECH, THIS HIGHLY CONFLICTED JUDGE IS RIGGING THE PRESIDENTIAL OF 2024 ELECTION. ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!” he added.

Merchan’s gag order blocks Trump from making any public comments about witnesses regarding participation in the trial, counsel other than Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D), “members of the court’s staff and the District Attorney’s staff, or … the family members of any counsel or staff member, if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with … counsel’s or staff’s work” on the case.

Furthermore, Trump is forbidden from making any public statements "about any prospective juror or any juror in this criminal proceeding."

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