Trump demands end to gag order in New York hush money case

By Sarah May on
 April 21, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has made no secret of the disdain he has for the prosecutions he is currently facing, but last week, he took particular aim at one aspect of the New York hush money trial that recently commenced in earnest.

As the Post Millennial reports, Trump blasted the gag order imposed on him by Judge Juan Merchan and expressed his belief that he should be immediately freed from all restrictions on his speech.

Trump speaks out

Prior to entering the courtroom in Manhattan on Friday morning, Trump spoke to the media about what he believes is the court's unfair approach to him and his case.

“As you know, I've been saying for a long while this is a rigged trial, it's coming from the White House. They have White House, DOJ people in the trial, in the D.A.'s office, representing the D.A. because he's probably not smart enough to represent himself,” Trump began.

Declaring the proceedings a “rigged case,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee lamented that “instead of being in Pennsylvania or Georgia or North Carolina or a lot of other places today, I'm sitting at a courthouse all day long.”

Gag order slammed

It was then that he turned specifically to the gag order placed on him earlier in the proceedings, saying, “The gag order has to come off. I should be allowed to speak.”

“Every time I come out to speak to you, I want to be open because we did absolutely nothing wrong,” Trump told assembled journalists, adding that he has seen dozens of opinions from legal experts indicating that there is no basis for the charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

“They've taking away my constitutional rights to speak and that includes speaking to you. I have a lot to say to you and I'm not allowed to say it and I'm the only one, everyone else can say whatever they want about me,” Trump complained.

Prosecution takes hard line

However, not only are prosecutors on Bragg's team not amenable to lifting the gag order, they have asked that Trump be sanctioned for what they say are his repeated violations of the restrictions placed upon him by Merchan, as the New York Post notes.

On Tuesday, prosecutors asked Merchan to fine Trump $3,000 and to threaten him with jail time if he continues making what they said were disparaging comments about witnesses in the case.

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and adult entertainer Stormy Daniels were, according to prosecutors, the targets of the aforementioned violations.

Tuesday hearing planned

Attorneys for Trump are expected to submit a response to the allegations and the prosecution's request, and a Tuesday morning hearing in front of Merchan is scheduled to achieve resolution on the matter.

Though the prospect of jail time is not something anyone would relish, some observers believe that the optics of Trump being put behind bars simply for speaking his mind could be a boon to his campaign.

Whether Merchan will grant the prosecution's wishes or err on the side of leniency toward Trump in this highly sensitive area, only time will tell.

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