Court Rejects Trump Bid To Overturn Gag Order

A New York State court rejected an effort by former President Donald Trump’s legal team to lift the gag order placed on him by Judge Juan Merchan. The decision came after Merchan found Trump to be in violation of the order several times and issued a fine.

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court determined Tuesday that the gag order placed on Trump by Merchan would remain. Trump is barred from criticizing the jury, prosecutors or court officials during the trial.

“We find that Justice Merchan properly weighed petitioner’s First Amendment Rights against the court’s historical commitment to ensuring the fair administration of justice in criminal cases, and the right of persons related or tangentially related to the criminal proceedings from being free from threats, intimidation, harassment and harm,” read the decision.

The former president has argued that the gag order is unconstitutional and restricts his First Amendment right to free expression.

The former president called the case a “WITCH HUNT” on social media, asking why the “HOAX” wasn’t tried earlier instead of “IN THE MIDDLE OF MY WINNING CAMPAIGN FOR PRESIDENT.” He framed the decision as “ELECTION INTERFERENCE.”

He also said that the judge was “TOTALLY COMPROMISED, CONFLICTED AND CORRUPT, MAKING BIG MONEY OFF OF THIS SCAM AND ITS OUTCOME.” Trump asked for the state’s Appellate Division to remove Merchan from the case.

This week a number of Republican officials came to the courthouse that the case is being heard in. This included potential vice presidential nominee and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R). Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) also came to the courthouse on Monday and issued a statement in favor of the former president.

Trump was also joined by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and a number of other leading Republicans.

The former president denies any wrongdoing, both in the original case surrounding the aftermath of an alleged brief relationship with former adult actress Stormy Daniels and regarding contempt of court allegations.