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Trump Says He’s Appealing ‘Unconstitutonal’ Gag Order Imposed By Hush Money Judge

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


Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over former President Donald Trump’s “hush money” trial in Manhattan, imposed a gag order on him that his legal team has appealed as “unconstitutional.”

“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.

On Thursday, 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.

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“‘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.

“‘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 was back in court Thursday, where lawyers for his legal team cross-examined adult film star Stormy Daniels a day after she dropped a series of salacious details regarding an alleged sexual encounter.

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Daniels recounted to the court that she encountered Trump in 2006 at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. She claimed they had sexual relations in Trump’s hotel room during the tournament, an assertion Trump has consistently refuted in public statements. Additionally, her testimony included an account of her transition into the pornography industry following her earlier work as an exotic dancer during her teenage years.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche filed a motion for mistrial following the hours-long testimony which included several objections from the defense that Merchan sustained. But the judge denied the motion.

Fox adds:

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The case revolves around the alleged falsification of business records. Prosecutors say Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 to quiet her claims of the alleged extramarital sexual encounter. Prosecutors allege the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses, and they are working to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal a second crime, which is a felony.

Legal experts on Tuesday sounded off on social media that Daniels’ testimony was irrelevant to the case and that it should not have been admitted into the record.

“I used to try cases for a living. I still have a pretty good sense of what evidence is relevant, what is prejudicial and what is completely over-the-top inadmissible. What the judge is letting in today in the Trump trial in NYC will be remembered as a dark stain on our judicial system, reminiscent of corrupt dictatorships. Shame on the prosecution for undermining our judicial system,” David Friedman, a lawyer and former U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Trump administration, posted on X.

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