Trump Targets Judge Over ‘Lies and False Statements’ Made in Trial

The former president wrote that it’s ‘hard to sit back and listen’ to the claims.

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he can’t comment directly on “lies and false statements” made during his trial, due to a gag order that was imposed on him. His comments came after Stormy Daniels testified in the case.

On Tuesday, Ms. Daniels, an adult film performer whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, testified that she had a sexual encounter with the former president in 2006. President Trump has previously denied the allegation. Defense attorneys asked for a mistrial due to Ms. Daniels’ claims, arguing that she introduced new statements that would prejudice the jury, but Judge Juan Merchan denied their bid.

“It is a really bad feeling to have your Constitutional Right to Free Speech, such a big part of life in our Country, so unfairly taken from you,” President Trump wrote on Truth Social on Wednesday, adding, “It is hard to sit back and listen to lies and false statements be made against you knowing that if you respond … you will be put in prison, maybe for a long period of time.”

He did not specifically make reference to Ms. Daniels or anyone else involved in the case other than Judge Merchan. The former president again suggested that the Constitution’s First Amendment is under attack due to Judge Merchan’s gag order, before quoting U.S. Founding Father Patrick Henry’s “give me liberty or give me death” statement.

After Tuesday’s testimony, President Trump provided comments to reporters while leaving the courtroom.

“This was a very revealing day in court. Any honest reporter would say that,” he told court reporters in Manhattan.

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In March, Judge Merchan imposed a gag order on the former president, prohibiting him from commenting on potential witnesses, court staff, the jury, or the district attorney’s staff. Later, the order was expanded to include members of the judge’s family after President Trump wrote on social media that Judge Merchan’s daughter works as a consultant for Democratic Party officials.

On Monday, President Trump was again fined $1,000—the 10th time he has incurred the fine—for making comments that the judge said were in violation of his gag order. Judge Merchan then warned President Trump that he might have to place him in jail if he finds him in contempt of the court again.

President Trump told reporters on Monday, however, that he would be willing to risk going to jail in order to speak freely.

“Frankly our Constitution is much more important than jail,” he said at the Manhattan courthouse. “It’s not even close. I’ll do that sacrifice any day.”

Trial Resumes Thursday

The trial is scheduled to resume on Thursday and Ms. Daniels is again expected to take the witness stand again. Lawyers for the former president, during cross-examination, suggested that she is only after financial gain and pressed her on they money she has made after going public with the affair allegations.

“Am I correct that you hate President Trump?” defense lawyer Susan Necheles asked her. “Yes,” she confirmed.

Prosecutors say Ms. Daniels’ statements are central to the case because in the final weeks of President Trump’s 2016 Republican presidential campaign, his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid her $130,000 to keep quiet. President Trump has pleaded not guilty and said the payments were standard legal fees.

“My motivation wasn’t money,” Ms. Daniels claimed. “It was to get the story out,” she added.

However, Ms. Necheles focused in on that point, pressing her on the fact that she owes President Trump hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees stemming from an unsuccessful defamation lawsuit, and that she wrote on Twitter in 2022 that she “will go to jail before I pay a penny.”

“That was me saying, ‘I will not pay for telling the truth,’” she testified.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears in court during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, on May 6, 2024. (Steven Hirsch-Pool/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears in court during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, on May 6, 2024. (Steven Hirsch-Pool/Getty Images)

At one point, according to court reporters, President Trump’s reaction to her court allegations prompted Judge Merchan to bring his lawyers to a discussion at the bench.

“I understand that your client is upset at this point, but he is cursing audibly, and he is shaking his head visually and that’s contemptuous. It has the potential to intimidate the witness and the jury can see that,” the judge said, adding, “I am speaking to you here at the bench because I don’t want to embarrass him.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche attempted to have Judge Merchan declare a mistrial because Ms. Daniels’ testimony is “impossible to come back from.” He then asked,  “How can we come back from this in a way that’s fair to President Trump?”

Prosecutors will also likely call Mr. Cohen, who pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the hush money payments, to the stand during the trial.

President Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with the payments. The trial is the first of his four criminal cases to reach a jury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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