Judge Grants Donald Trump’s Request to Reconsider Gag Order

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A New York appeals court judge on Tuesday permitted the full Appellate Division First Department to consider relaxing a sweeping gag order against former President Donald Trump.

The appellate court could reportedly decide to delay the criminal trial while it considers Trump’s gag order appeal.

Trump sued New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan in an appeals court on Monday to challenge the judge’s sweeping gag order. Merchan, who is presiding over the New York criminal case, imposed the gag order after news surfaced about a connection between Merchan’s daughter and conspiracy theorist Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

Judge Juan Merchan poses for a picture in his chambers in New York, Thursday, March 14, 2024. Merchan could become the first judge ever to oversee a former U.S. president’s criminal trial. He's presiding over Donald Trump’s hush money case in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Judge Juan Merchan (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The gag order, as Breitbart News’s Nick Gilbertson reported, 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.

As soon as Monday, the day the trial is set to begin, the full Appellate Division First Department could rule on Trump’s request to lift the gag order, CBS News reported:

Trump’s defense lawyer Emil Bove argued Tuesday morning that the gag order creates an “irreparable harm” because the former president can’t respond to attacks from expected trial witnesses Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels, and it prevents him from criticizing one of the prosecutors in the case and speaking in support of a recent motion to recuse the judge based on the conduct of his daughter.

Judge Cynthia Kern responded to Trump’s request for a stay of the entire proceeding with skepticism, asking how the gag order is any different from a similar order that was upheld in Trump’s federal election interference case.

Steven Wu, a lawyer for the Manhattan District Attorney, pushed back on the request for a stay, telling the court about Trump’s “uncontested history” of denigrating remarks – including calling witnesses “losers,” “horse face,” and “deranged psychopaths.”

Trump and the prosecution must provide written arguments to the court by April 29.

The court will also consider a separate ruling about whether to keep the case in Manhattan, a location that likely benefits the prosecution. Written arguments on the second consideration must be submitted by April 22.

As the case presses forward, jury trial selection is scheduled for April 15 in New York City.

The case is New York v. Trump, No. 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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