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Trump Appeals ‘Unconstitutional’ Gag Order Imposed By Hush Money Judge

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Lawyers for former President Donald Trump have filed an appeal of what he calls an “unconstitutional” gag order placed on him by Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the hush money trial involving adult film star Stormy Daniels.

“I just want to let you know that we’ve just filed a major motion in the appellate division concerning the absolutely unconstitutional gag order, where I’m essentially not allowed to talk to you about anything meaningful that’s going on in the case. And many good things are going on with the case. It shouldn’t have been filed,” Trump announced on Thursday.

Trump is subject to a gag order that prohibits him and anyone acting on his behalf from making public statements about witnesses, their potential involvement, or comments regarding court staff, DA staff, or their family members, Fox News noted. Merchan has found Trump in violation of this order ten times, imposing total fines of $10,000, and has warned of potential jail time if Trump continues to breach the order.

Trump also shared with the media legal experts’ negative views on the impeachment trial. Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley were among the scholars who criticized the trial.

“‘This is a Frankenstein case. They took a dead misdemeanor, they attached it to a dead, alleged federal felony and zapped it back into life. So many of us are just amazed to watch this actually walk into court because it’s not a recognizable crime that any of us have seen,” Trump said, quoting Turley, a law school professor at Georgetown University.

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“‘I’ve been doing this for 60 years, and I don’t understand what crime he’s been charged with. Nobody understands this. I just don’t get the crime. There’s no evidence of any crime whatsoever. This is a sham,’” Trump continued, quoting Dershowitz.

Trump’s chief spokeswoman, Alina Habba, railed against the direct examination of Daniels regarding her alleged sexual encounter with the real estate mogul following highly salacious testimony earlier this week.

Habba, in an interview with Fox News, noted that Daniels gave hours of testimony revealing highly sensitive details about the alleged encounter that most news outlets did not cover due to their highly “salacious” nature. Judge Juan Merchan upheld several defense objections but rejected Todd Blanche’s request for a mistrial on behalf of Trump.

In an appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” Habba, herself an attorney, was critical of the questioning.

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“I ask you about yesterday’s testimony,” co-anchor Dana Perino began. “Okay, so I know you can’t talk about Stormy Daniels testimony, but maybe you could comment on this. Judge Merchan talked about the defense, complaining about the testimony. He said, ‘I agree it would have been better if some of these things had been left unsaid,’ but they were already said in front of the jury.”

“Yeah, this is the problem here. And the judge did try and put guardrails with the prosecution and say that these are the guardrails,” Habba began.

“Let’s just go back to basics here. This is about books and records keeping. This is about somebody in Trump Tower who registered a legal fee as a legal fee payment. Okay. That’s it. A payment to Michael Cohen, who was an attorney. To reimburse him– was a legal fee. That’s what this case is about. Where was President Trump? In the White House,” she added. “And they’re trying to now make this a very salacious, you know–. It’s a, it’s a complete extortion situation.

“And they’re using their hand for the Biden administration to, number one, slow him down so that he can’t go on the campaign trail. Number two, get headlines that they think will damage him. And it’s just very clear. And the judge was trying to prevent that. But I can tell you, I just thought the prosecution completely disregarded the guardrails, didn’t care. And that’s why we moved for a mistrial yesterday,” she added.

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