Former president Donald Trump waits with his lawyer Susan Necheles for the start of a hearing at Court in New York City on March 25, 2024. (Brendan McDermid/Pool/Getty Images)

Trump Responds to Gag Order, Targets Judge and His Daughter

By Jack Phillips |

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized the New York judge overseeing his “hush money” case as well as the judge’s daughter—coming just hours after that same judge handed down a gag order against him.

Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over the criminal case accusing President Trump of making alleged payments in the 2016 election, which the former president has denied. On Tuesday, the judge issued a gag order blocking the former president from making public comments about court staff, jurors, witnesses, or prosecutors in the case.

“Given that the eve of trial is upon us, it is without question that the imminency of the risk of harm is now paramount,” Judge Merchan wrote, granting prosecutors their request in the case.

But on Wednesday, President Trump wrote on Truth Social that the judge’s ruling imperils his First Amendment rights.

The judge, he wrote, “is suffering from an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome” and added that his “daughter represents Crooked Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, and other Radical Liberals.” His daughter also allegedly “has just posted a picture of me behind bars, her obvious goal, and makes it completely impossible for me to get a fair trial,” the former president wrote.

“This Judge, by issuing a vicious ‘Gag Order,’ is wrongfully attempting to deprive me of my First Amendment Right to speak out against the Weaponization of Law Enforcement, including the fact that Crooked Joe Biden, Merrick Garland, and their Hacks and Thugs are tracking and following me all across the Country, obsessively trying to persecute me, while everyone knows I have done nothing wrong!” he wrote.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office accused President Trump of falsifying business records to allegedly keep secret payments that were meant for adult film actress Stormy Daniels. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied there was a relationship between him and Ms. Daniels.

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