Trump granted an appeal of the sweeping gag order imposed in the New York hush money case

 April 10, 2024

Former President Donald Trump was granted an appeal Tuesday that could lift the gag order imposed in his hush-money case, Breitbart reported. The order prevented Trump from speaking about New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan or his family's ties to Democrats.

This is a win against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the partisan who brought the case against Trump in what some believe is an attempt to derail his 2024 campaign. The Appellate Division First Department will now review the issue.

The order prevented Trump from speaking out against witnesses in his trial as well as "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." Bragg was not included in the gag order.

Trump's legal team argued he should have the right to speak about his trial in the public sphere. Bragg's attorney, Steven Wu, disagreed, citing Trump's "uncontested history" of calling witnesses "horse face," "losers," and “deranged psychopaths.

Valid Concerns

Trump was put under a gag order after he spoke against Merchan and his daughter, Loren Merchan, over her business relationship with some of Trump's prominent political enemies, the New York Post reported. Some of them used Trump's New York case to fundraise.

Loren Merchan is the president of the consulting firm Authentic Campaigns, which helps Democratic groups and clients like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) with their political messaging. Trump's attorneys previously urged Judge Merchan to recuse himself on those grounds, which he declined to do.

"Authentic Campaigns, and thus the judge’s daughter, is actively making money from this sham attack against President Trump, rendering Judge Merchan conflicted out," Steven Cheung, Trump's spokesman, said. Indeed, Loren Merchan has been successful at her job.

She has helped the Senate Majority PAC fundraising organization rake in money. Moreover, Schiff, who was instrumental in impeaching Trump the first time, raised $20 million from the New York case against the former president.

"It is a somber moment, and unprecedented for a former president to be indicted, but his alleged offenses are also unprecedented," Schiff's fundraising email said. "Trump will respond as he always does — playing the victim and blaming others for having the temerity to investigate him in the first place."

Pressing On

Despite the seriousness of the issues surrounding the judge, the court denied Trump's request to delay the trial pending the outcome of the gag order review, Fox News reported. Justice Cynthia Kern said the trial will start as scheduled on April 15.

Trump's attorneys have argued that he has the right to rebut witnesses, including Stormy Daniels, the former porn star he allegedly paid off, and Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen. "The First Amendment harms arising from this gag order right now are irreparable," his attorney said.

The trial centers on 34 counts of falsifying business records Bragg slapped on Trump. The charges stem from him allegedly paying off Daniels to keep quiet about their affair ahead of the 2016 election.

The entire case has questionable merit as it is considering it mainly deals with a campaign finance issue. However, the timing of the prosecution as Trump runs for a second term as president is highly suspect.

The fact that he's being prosecuted at this time while being told to keep mum about it is unfair. Even if it doesn't rise to the threshold of election interference, it's difficult to trust the partisans who are after Trump to give him a fair shake.

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