Trump Responds to Gag Order, Targets Judge and His Daughter

The former president reacted to the gag order, saying the judge’s daughter allegedly represents top Democratic clients.

Former President Donald Trump on March 27 criticized the New York judge overseeing his “hush money” case and criticized the judge’s daughter, just hours after the judge handed down a gag order against him.

Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over the criminal case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg accusing President Trump of making and concealing payments during the 2016 election to adult actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair she had with President Trump; the former president has denied the affair and making the payments.

On March 26, the judge issued a gag order blocking the former president from making public comments about court staff, jurors, witnesses, or prosecutors in the case.

“Given that the eve of trial is upon us, it is without question that the imminency of the risk of harm is now paramount,” Judge Merchan wrote, granting prosecutors their request in the case.

On March 27, President Trump wrote on Truth Social that the judge’s ruling imperils his First Amendment rights.

“[The judge] is suffering from an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome,” he wrote.

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President Trump also wrote that the judge’s daughter “represents Crooked Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, and other Radical Liberals.”

“This Judge, by issuing a vicious ‘Gag Order,’ is wrongfully attempting to deprive me of my First Amendment Right to speak out against the Weaponization of Law Enforcement, including the fact that Crooked Joe Biden, Merrick Garland, and their Hacks and Thugs are tracking and following me all across the Country, obsessively trying to persecute me, while everyone knows I have done nothing wrong!” the former president wrote.

Gag orders have been used against President Trump in other legal cases. Last year, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a similar order regarding what the former president could say about special counsel Jack Smith, witnesses, and court staff in the case, and another New York judge, Arthur Engoron, put a gag order on President Trump relating to what he could say about the court.

At the fraud trial, Judge Engoron fined the former president $15,000 for what he claimed was a violation of the gag order he imposed. In January, a federal judge threatened President Trump with expulsion from the court in a civil trial regarding writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation claims against him after he was heard saying, “It is a witch hunt,” and “It really is a con job.”

In the Manhattan case, President Trump’s attorneys attempted to fight the gag order, warning that it would amount to unconstitutional and unlawful prior restraint on his free speech rights, and they noted that he is the leading Republican candidate for president.

“President Trump’s political opponents have, and will continue to, attack him based on this case,” Trump lawyers Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles said in a recent court filing. “The voters have the right to listen to President Trump’s unfettered responses to those attacks—not just one side of that debate.”

The Merchan gag order does not bar comments about the judge himself or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, an elected Democrat.

The hush-money trial is scheduled to start on April 15. It’s the first criminal trial involving the former president. He faces other cases in Washington, Florida, and Georgia.

President Trump faces 91 felony counts in all, and he has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all the charges. He has said that the cases are politically motivated attempts to harm his 2024 presidential campaign.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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