NY v. Trump: Appeals court rejects Trump’s request to end ‘unconstitutional’ gag order

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected former President Donald Trump’s attempt to end a gag order that has prevented him from speaking publicly about many aspects of the case. “We find that Justice Merchan properly weighed petitioner’s First Amendment Rights against the court’s historical commitment to ensuring the fair administration of justice in criminal cases, and the right of persons related or tangentially related to the criminal proceedings from being free from threats, intimidation, harassment, and harm,” the First Department of the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division wrote in its order Tuesday. Trump’s legal team now has the opportunity to appeal the gag order to the New York Court of Appeals.”The gag order imposed by conflicted Judge Juan Merchan in the lawless Manhattan DA case is unconstitutional and un-American. The threat to throw the 45th President of the United States and the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election in jail for exercising his First Amendment rights is a Third World authoritarian tactic typical of Crooked Joe Biden and his comrades,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told Fox News Digital. MICHAEL COHEN TESTIMONY TO CONTINUE AFTER EX-LAWYER REVEALS SECRET RECORDINGS OF TRUMP IN NY TRIALThe rejected appeal comes as Trump, as well as his allies, have repeatedly and consistently railed against the order as “unconstitutional” and preventing Trump from defending himself from critics’ attacks. Presiding Judge Juan Merchan imposed the gag order on Trump before his criminal trial in New York began, ordering the presumptive Republican presidential nominee not to make or direct others to make public statements about witnesses, counsel in the case or about court staff, the DA staff or family members of staff.TRUMP TRIAL VEEPSTAKES? TRUMP ALLIES SHOW UP IN FORCE AHEAD OF MICHAEL COHEN’S SECOND DAY OF TESTIMONYAfter the trial kicked off, Merchan ruled that Trump violated the order on 10 occasions, resulting in a combined $10,000 fine. The violations stemmed from messages posted by Trump on Truth Social and the campaign’s website. In the judge’s initial gag order ruling, he threatened Trump with jail time if he further violated the order, while also lamenting not being able to fine Trump more than $1,000 for each violation. Merchan wrote in the order that if Trump carries out “continued willful violations” of the gag order, he could face “incarceratory punishment” if “necessary and appropriate.”MASSIVE TRUMP BEACH RALLY IN DEEP-BLUE NJ DRAWS STARK CONTRAST TO BIDEN’S BEACH WEEKEND: ‘BIDEN COULD NEVER’Merchan also lamented that the dollar amount of the penalties “unfortunately will not achieve the desired result in those instances where the contemnor can easily afford such a fine.” MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE SECRETLY RECORDED TRUMP IN LEAD-UP TO 2016 ELECTIONTrump responded to the threats of jail earlier this month as a “sacrifice” he was willing to make to protect the Constitution. “I have to watch every word I tell you people. You ask me a question, a simple question I’d like to give it, but I can’t talk about it because this judge has given me a gag order and [says] you’ll go to jail if you violate it,” Trump said last week.”And frankly, you know what? Our Constitution is much more important than jail. It’s not even close. I’ll do that sacrifice any day.”
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