Judge in Trump's New York criminal case snaps at defense attorney

 April 24, 2024

Judge Juan Merchan is overseeing former President Donald Trump's New York hush-money trial, and he imposed a gag order last month limiting what Trump is permitted to say.

According to Breitbart, Merchan all but had a meltdown on Tuesday when one of the former president's lawyers challenged the gag order. 

Trump faces up to 30 days behind bars for gag order violations

Breitbart noted that the order precludes Trump from making public comments concerning witnesses, prospective jurors, court staff, and staff working in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office.

Also covered are "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."

If Trump is found to have run afoul of the gag order, then he can be fined $1,000 for each violation or be sent to jail for up to 30 days.

For his part, Trump maintains that the gag order is a violation of his constructional rights and unfair given that Bragg and others involved in the trial have made disparaging remarks about him.

Judge snaps at defense attorney: "Give me the case law"

Breitbart cited a Reuters report as saying that Merchan at one point grew visibly angry with defense attorney Todd Blanche when he said it would not be a violation of the gag order for Trump to post a news article about his case to Truth Social.

When Merchan asked Blanche to produce case law in support of that position, the lawyer responded, "I don’t have any case law to support that, but it’s just common sense, your honor."

"Where does it say that? Give me the case law," Merchan shot back. He then interrupted Blanche when he attempted to answer, saying, "Let me ask you. When something is reposted, how does it get onto your client’s Truth Social account?"

The judge later snapped at Blanche when he suggested that Trump is attempting to comply with the gag order, stating, "Mr. Blanche, you’re losing all credibility. I have to tell you right now, you’re losing all credibility with the court."

Trump slams "totally unconstitutional" gag order in online post

For his part, Trump again lashed out at Merchan's gag order in a Truth Social post on Wednesday, calling it "totally unconstitutional."

"The conflicted judge's friends and party members can say whatever they want about me, but I am not allowed to respond," Trump complained.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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