Tuesday 2 April 2024

Judge Expands Gag Order Against Trump In Hush Money Case

 New York Justice Juan Merchan expanded his gag order against former President Donald Trump on Monday, further limiting the Republican presidential candidate’s criticisms of family members of lawyers and jurists.

In a five-page ruling, Merchan scolded Trump for his posts on Truth Social targeting the judge’s daughter, Loren, who has served as an executive at a leftist political consulting firm that has worked with clients like President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, The Hill reported.

“This pattern of attacking family members of presiding jurists and attorneys assigned to his cases serves no legitimate purpose. It merely injects fear in those assigned or called to participate in the proceedings, that not only they, but their family members as well, are ‘fair game’ for Defendant’s vitriol,” Merchan wrote.

In the hush money case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg against Trump, the former president stands accused of falsifying business records in an attempt to cover up an alleged affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels. The hush money case, widely viewed as the weakest case against the former president, was the first in a slew of criminal charges against Trump and made Trump the first ex-president to be charged with a crime. Trump has denied sending Daniels any hush money along with denying the alleged affair between them.

The trial is set to begin on April 15 after Merchan delayed it last month to give Trump’s legal team time to review a new dump of 100,000 pages of material that could be used as evidence in the case.

In his initial gag order last week, Merchan — who donated to Biden’s campaign against Trump in 2020 — restricted Trump’s ability to speak out about witnesses, prosecutors, and jurors involved in the criminal case, but the judge’s order didn’t apply to him or his family. Following the gag order, Trump slammed Merchan and his daughter, writing that Loren “represents Crooked Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, and other Radical Liberals.”

Trump’s lawyers argued that the leading presidential candidate’s social media posts about the judge and his daughter are protected by the First Amendment and “necessary and appropriate in the current environment.”

Merchan disagreed, saying that the lawyers’ arguments are “farcical” and calling Trump’s posts “dangerous rhetoric,” according to The Hill.


Trump responded to the expanded gag order, writing on Truth Social on Tuesday morning that Merchan “should be recused, and the case should be thrown out.”

“I just was informed that another corrupt New York Judge, Juan Merchan, GAGGED me so that I can not talk about the corruption and conflicts taking place in his courtroom with respect to a case that everyone, including the D.A., felt should never have been brought,” Trump said. “They can talk about me, but I can’t talk about them??? That sounds fair, doesn’t it? This Judge should be recused, and the case should be thrown out. There has virtually never been a more conflicted judge than this one. ELECTION INTERFERENCE at its worst!”

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