Gag Order Hearing: Judge Merchan Could Send Trump to Jail for up to 30 Days

Jane Rosenberg/Pool Photo via AP)

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan on Tuesday could fine and send former President Donald Trump to jail for up to 30 days for allegedly violating his gag order.

It would be a “GREAT HONOR” to become a “modern-day Nelson Mandela” in the “clink” for speaking the truth about Merchan, Trump said in April.

Merchan will hold a hearing on Tuesday to determine whether Trump allegedly violated the “unconstitutional” gag order, as Trump described it.

The gag order prevents Trump from making public comments about witnesses participating in the trial, counsel other than Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D), “members of the court’s staff and the District Attorney’s staff, or … the family members of any counsel or staff member, if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with … counsel’s or staff’s work” on the case. It also encompasses prospective jurors.

Trump could be fined and put in jail if Merchan rules in favor of the prosecution, according to Reuters:

Merchan could opt to fine Trump $1,000 for each of those violations, as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has requested.

The law permits the judge to send Trump to jail for up to 30 days, in what would be a dramatic twist to the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president. Trump says the partial gag order, which prevents him from publicly criticizing witnesses, court officials and their relatives, is a violation of free speech.

“The gag order has to come off,” Trump told reporters last week. “People are allowed to speak about me, and I have a gag order, just to show you how much more unfair it is.”

“They’ve taken away my constitutional rights to speak,” he said.

“They can say anything they want,” Trump said about his political foes. “They can continue to make up lies and everything else. They lie. They’re real scum. But you know what, I’m not allowed to speak.”

“So why am I gagged about telling the truth?” Trump questioned. “I’m only telling the truth. They’re not telling the truth. The judge has to take off this gag order. It’s very, very unfair that my constitutional rights have been taken away.”

RELATED: Undaunted! Trump Lambasts Unfair “Biden Trials” as “Election Interference”


Democrat Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34 felonies in the criminal case concerning alleged election interference and a legal retainer paid to Michael Cohen. The trial is the first-ever criminal trial of a president of the United States. Trump could face jail time if convicted.

Only about one-third of American adults believe Trump did anything illegal regarding the case, an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found Tuesday.

The case is New York v. TrumpNo. 71543-23, in the New York Supreme Court for New York County.

Wendell Husebo is a political reporter with Breitbart News and a former GOP War Room Analyst. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality. Follow Wendell on “X” @WendellHusebø or on Truth Social @WendellHusebo.


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