Wednesday 1 May 2024

Trump Responds To Gag Order Fine, Says Judge Is ‘Rigging’ 2024 Election

 Former President Donald Trump said Judge Juan Merchan is “rigging” the 2024 presidential election after the judge slapped Trump with a $9,000 fine and threatened to jail him for social media posts that violated his gag order in the New York hush-money trial.

Merchan wrote in an order on Tuesday that Trump had violated his gag order nine times, fining him $1,000 for each offense. The former president is prohibited from commenting on potential witnesses, jurors, court staff, attorneys, and members of the judge’s family. Prosecutors urged Merchan to take action on Trump for violating the gag order, pointing to posts he made on his social media site Truth Social or his campaign website about Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, and the jury pool.

“This Judge has taken away my Constitutional Right to FREE SPEECH,” Trump wrote on Truth Social Tuesday afternoon. “I am the only Presidential Candidate in History to be GAGGED. This whole ‘Trial’ is RIGGED, and by taking away my FREEDOM OF SPEECH, THIS HIGHLY CONFLICTED JUDGE IS RIGGING THE PRESIDENTIAL OF 2024 ELECTION. ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!”

In his order, Merchan complained that he could not legally fine Trump more than $1,000 for each violation, writing, “In some cases that might be a $2,500 fine, in other cases it might be a fine of $150,000.”

“Because this Court is not cloaked with such discretion, it must therefore consider whether in some instances, jail may be a necessary punishment,” the judge added.

Merchan, who donated to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign against Trump, ordered the former president to delete the social media posts that violated the gag order by 2:15 p.m. ET, and Trump complied shortly before the deadline, The Hill reported.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up alleged hush-money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Trump has been accused of paying Daniels over $130,000 in 2016, but the former president has denied the allegations.


The hush-money trial, brought by Manhattan Democratic District Attorney Alvin Bragg, is the first criminal trial against a former U.S. president. Trump has argued that he is being politically targeted during an election year as he also faces criminal trials in Georgia, Florida, and Washington, D.C.

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