Trump Rages After Being Slapped With Another Gag Order

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump criticized Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing his New York hush money trial, following the imposition of a gag order that restricts Trump’s public comments about the case. This gag order, issued on the preceding day, marks the third such directive Trump has encountered across his various legal battles. Trump condemned the order as “illegal, un-American,” and “unConstitutional,” alleging political bias on the part of Judge Merchan.

Trump expressed his dissent through a post on Truth Social, claiming that the gag order infringes on his First Amendment rights. He accused the judicial action of being an attempt to silence his criticisms of what he perceives as the misuse of legal power against him, naming President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland among those he believes are unjustly targeting him.

The charges against Trump relate to alleged clandestine payments made to conceal a previous affair during his 2016 campaign, with Trump pleading not guilty to the accusation of falsifying business records. The trial, overseen by Judge Merchan, is scheduled to commence on April 15, with the judge recently rejecting Trump’s legal team’s requests for postponement.

The specifics of the gag order preclude Trump from publicly disparaging trial witnesses, jurors, and related parties. This trial is notable as it is the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president. However, the gag order does not extend to comments about the judge or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Trump has a history of facing and contesting similar gag orders in other legal proceedings, including his New York civil fraud trial and a separate election interference case in Washington, D.C., both of which upheld the gag orders against him.

Reacting to the recent gag order, Trump’s campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung criticized it as an infringement on Trump’s political speech rights, suggesting it also impairs the rights of millions of Trump’s supporters to hear from him directly. Cheung framed the issue as a broader violation of Americans’ rights to access unfiltered political discourse, asserting Trump’s continued commitment to advocating for constitutional principles and national interests.

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