Media Appears to Bait Trump Into Violating Gag Order

( – Former President Donald Trump has been asked questions by reporters about witnesses and the jury in his Hush Money criminal trial that, if answered, could risk violating a gag order placed on him by Justice Juan Merchan.

In the second week of the trial, Merchan ruled that Trump had violated a gag order for the tenth time. The judge fined the 2024 presidential candidate $1000 and warned him that he could face jail time if there are further violations of the order. Despite these restrictions, a reporter asked Trump on the Monday of his trial’s third week whether he thinks Michael Cohen is a liar. The reporter also pressed Trump on his views of the jury.

Trump ignored the reporter’s questions, and called the gag order “disgraceful”. He suggested that he could be jailed for exercising his constitutional right to free speech. Key witness Michael Cohen, who is expected to testify against his former boss, has prompted criticism for his own conduct outside the courtroom, which included giving the former president a profane nickname and joking about the incarceration of the former president. Cohen could potentially jeopardize the prosecution’s case due to his own criminal background and questionable reliability as a witness. Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 despite denying having had an affair with him previously, stirred up the trial with her raunchy account of events. Daniels’ testimony became so explicit that Trump’s legal team demanded a mistrial. Merchan commented that “some things are better left unsaid”.

Despite the crude content of Daniels’ testimony, it reportedly did not excite the jury as much as the testimonies of other witnesses. Trump has slated Merchan, which is allowed under his gag order, and the other two New York judges linked to the trial. The former president called for the involvement of the appellate court, branding his trial a “disgrace” and naming justices Engoron and Kaplan along with Merchan as a “triple team” of “corrupt judges”.

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