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Trump Suffers Frustrating Setback With Latest New York Appeals Court Ruling


Few people expected Donald Trump to receive a fair trial in the liberal enclave of Manhattan, but the antics of Judge Juan Merchan thus far in the flimsy “hush money” case have gone beyond even what some of his critics would have predicted.

Most notably, Merchan imposed a restrictive gag order on the former president, thus severely limiting Trump’s ability to discuss the case as he attempts to campaign for a second term in the White House.

Trump’s defense team pushed back against the ruling, but an appeals court struck down the attorneys’ motion this week.

As The Hill reported:

“Justice Merchan properly determined that petitioner’s public statements posed a significant threat to the integrity of the testimony of witnesses and potential witnesses in this case as well,” the decision from the five-judge panel reads.

In the decision, the panel compares Merchan’s gag order to a gag imposed on Trump in his federal election interference case. The New York judges aligned with the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to allow Trump’s gag there to stand.

“Weighing these concerns, the circuit court ultimately concluded that, given the record, the court had ‘a duty to act proactively to prevent the creation of an atmosphere of fear or intimidation aimed at preventing trial participants and staff from performing their functions within the trial process,’” the five-judge panel wrote. “This Court adopts the reasoning in the circuit court’s Federal Restraining Order Decision.”

The gag order has been a source of significant discussion on social media:

Forbes recently published a breakdown of the limitations imposed in Merchan’s gag order:

Judge Juan Merchan imposed a gag order in March that bars Trump from making public statements about witnesses concerning their participation in the case, or any statements about counsel, court staff and their family members that could interfere with the case—and then expanded the order to also include family members of the judge and District Attorney after Trump repeatedly lashed out against Merchan’s daughter on social media.

Violations: Trump has now violated the order 10 times and been fined $1,000 per infraction—with Merchan warning he’ll consider prison time for future violations—based on five social media posts that criticized ex-attorney Michael Cohen, a potential witness in the case, as a “serial perjurer;” an additional three social media posts attacking Cohen and adult film star Stormy Daniels, who took the stand on Tuesday; and a social media post and media interview in which Trump criticized the jury by suggesting it is made up of Democrats who are biased against him.

Here’s some additional coverage of the appeals court ruling via Fox News:



 

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