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New York Court Upholds Restriction on Trump’s Public Comments

New York Appeals Court Supports Gag Order

A New York appeals court has upheld a gag order imposed on former President Trump, restricting his ability to publicly comment on his ongoing hush money criminal case.

The order, put in place by Judge Juan Merchan, aims to protect witnesses, prosecutors, court staff, and the judge’s family from potential intimidation or harassment. While Trump has argued that the gag order violates his First Amendment rights, the five-judge panel disagreed, citing the need to maintain the integrity of the trial process.

Gag Order in Hush Money Case Remains

The appeals court’s decision aligns with a similar ruling in Trump’s federal election interference case, where a gag order was also upheld. The judges noted that the gag order is necessary to prevent the creation of an “atmosphere of fear or intimidation” that could impact trial participants and staff.

Trump is facing 34 counts of falsifying business records related to an alleged repayment scheme to his former fixer, Michael Cohen, who paid porn actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump. Trump denies the affair and any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty.

The gag order has been a point of contention, with Trump’s attorneys arguing that it unfairly silences him while Cohen, a key witness, is allowed to publicly attack Trump on social media and elsewhere.

However, Judge Merchan has also directed prosecutors to tell Cohen to refrain from making further public statements about the case and has found Trump in violation of the gag order 10 times, resulting in a $1,000 fine per violation and a warning of potential jail time for future violations.

The case continues, with Cohen’s testimony ongoing and Trump’s legal team seeking to defend him against the charges.

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