Judge Clarifies That Gag Order For Trump

(PatriotWise.com) — The judge presiding over the New York hush money trial was forced to clarify elements of the gag order on Friday after Donald Trump falsely claimed that the order prevented him from testifying in his defense.

Trump told reporters after Thursday’s proceedings that he was “not allowed to testify” because of the gag order imposed by Judge Juan Merchan. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s claim was quickly fact-checked by multiple outlets, with fact-checkers noting that under the Constitution, criminal defendants have the right to testify in their defense.

When he arrived at court on Friday, reporters asked Trump about his false claim. The former president clarified that the gag order would not prevent him from testifying but would stop him “from talking about people and responding” to what is said when he is asked by reporters.

Judge Merchan began Friday’s proceedings by making it clear that the gag order would not prevent Trump from testifying “in any way.” He clarified that the order restricted “extrajudicial statements” and would not limit anything Trump might say on the witness stand.

The judge directed his remarks to the Defense, noting that it had come to his attention that there was a “misunderstanding” about the restrictions in the gag order.

Merchan imposed an expanded gag order on Trump before the trial began last month, preventing him from publicly commenting on the jurors, witnesses, prosecutors, court staff, and members of their families. The gag order does not bar Trump from commenting on Judge Merchan or District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Last Tuesday, Judge Merchan held Trump in contempt of court for violating the gag order on nine occasions, charging him the maximum $1,000 fine for each violation. The judge also warned Trump that further violations of the gag order could result in jail time.

With the court not in session on Wednesday, Trump held two rallies in which he once again attacked the judge as “crooked” and “totally conflicted.”

Trump told supporters in Michigan that he was not allowed to campaign because he was spending his time in a “kangaroo courtroom.” He claimed that District Attorney Bragg was doing the bidding of the Biden White House and accused President Biden of using the trial to interfere in the election.

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