New York Court of Appeals Declines Trump's Appeal of Gag Order in Hush Money Case

Zoey Waverider

Updated Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 6:05 AM CDT

New York Court of Appeals Declines Trump's Appeal of Gag Order in Hush Money Case

The New York Court of Appeals has declined to hear former President Donald Trump's appeal of the gag order imposed in his hush money case. The court stated that no substantial constitutional question was directly involved. The gag order, imposed by state Judge Juan Merchan, remains in effect and restricts Trump from attacking witnesses, individual prosecutors, jurors, court staff and their relatives, and the relatives of both the judge and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Trump's legal team argued that the gag order restricts his core political speech during his presidential campaign, where he is the leading candidate, and violates the fundamental right of every American voter to hear from him on matters of enormous public importance. The order specifically prevents Trump from speaking about two key witnesses in the case: his former attorney Michael Cohen and adult film star Stormy Daniels.

The DA's office argued that Merchan's order was narrowly tailored and did not trigger constitutional issues, citing Trump's history of making threatening, inflammatory, and denigrating remarks, which had led to death threats against Bragg and his staffers.

Trump first asked the appeals court to weigh in in mid-May, before being found guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Throughout the trial, which lasted about a month and a half, Trump repeatedly railed against the gag order. He violated it multiple times, leading Judge Merchan to fine him $10,000 and threaten jail time if it happened again.

In early June, Trump attorney Todd Blanche sent a letter to Judge Merchan requesting the termination of the gag order. However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office opposed the request. Trump was found guilty on May 30 of all 34 felony counts, marking the first time a former U.S. president was convicted of a crime. He still has the option to petition the high court to hear the case and has 30 days to file such a motion, according to Gary Spencer, a spokesperson for the court.

Trump may have further violated the gag order by making comments about two witnesses: Robert Costello and Michael Cohen. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11 and met virtually with a New York probation officer for a pre-sentencing interview on June 10.

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung stated that the legal team would continue to fight against the gag order. Trump's attorneys filed a notice of appeal with the state’s high court on May 15 during the criminal trial. During the trial, Judge Merchan held Trump in contempt of court and fined him $10,000 for violating the gag order and threatened to put him in jail if he violated it again.

The conviction arose from an attempt to cover up a hush money payment to p*** actor Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election. Daniels claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump a decade earlier, which he denies. The Manhattan district attorney’s office urged the Court of Appeals to reject Trump's appeal.

Trump’s lawyers argue he should be entitled to address the case publicly due to continued criticism from his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels. Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, stated that Michael Cohen is no longer a witness in the trial and that "the trial is over." Former federal prosecutor Brett Tolman discussed the NY v. Trump judge’s gag order on former President Trump on 'Your World.'

The trial, which lasted six weeks, stemmed from charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Todd Blanche, legal counsel for Trump, submitted a pre-motion letter requesting the termination of the gag order restricting Trump’s extrajudicial statements. Trump appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York. Blanche argued that the gag order should be lifted now that the trial has concluded, citing the First Amendment rights of President Trump and the American people as a reason. He also mentioned comments made by President Biden and public attacks by witnesses like Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels as additional reasons.

His sentencing date is set for July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

Conservative Bias:

Once again, the liberal judicial system is showing its true colors by silencing the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump. The New York Court of Appeals, in a blatant disregard for the First Amendment, has refused to hear Trump's appeal against a gag order that stifles his core political speech. This is nothing more than a politically motivated attack by a biased judge and a vindictive district attorney, both of whom are terrified of Trump's influence and the truth he speaks. They claim the gag order is to prevent threats, but it's clear that this is just another tactic by the left to sabotage his campaign and keep him from speaking out against their corruption. The so-called "narrowly tailored" gag order is a sham, designed to muzzle Trump while allowing his detractors, like Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels, to continue their baseless attacks. This is an assault not only on Trump but on the fundamental rights of every American voter who deserves to hear from him. The left's hypocrisy knows no bounds, and this is just the latest example of their desperate attempts to cling to power by any means necessary.

Liberal Bias:

The New York Court of Appeals has rightly upheld the gag order against Donald Trump, a man who has repeatedly shown his disdain for the rule of law and the safety of others. This decision is a necessary measure to protect witnesses, prosecutors, and court staff from the dangerous rhetoric that Trump has a history of spewing. His legal team’s argument that this gag order infringes on his political speech is nothing but a smokescreen to distract from his criminal behavior and the serious charges he faces. Trump's repeated violations of the gag order, including making inflammatory comments about witnesses, demonstrate his complete lack of respect for the judicial process. This is a man who has been found guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in an attempt to cover up hush money payments. The idea that he should be allowed to continue to spread his lies and incite violence while awaiting sentencing is absurd. The court's decision to maintain the gag order is a step towards accountability and justice, ensuring that Trump cannot continue to manipulate public opinion and endanger lives with his reckless and self-serving rhetoric.

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