According to legal experts, former President Donald Trump will likely be slapped with a gag order from the judge in the case of his recent indictment — which will prevent him from speaking publicly about his charges.
What do you want to bet that the “impartial” judge will place a gag order on Trump? Which is the whole point, to silence him throughout the entire campaign.
Don’t they know, they only make him stronger with these attacks? pic.twitter.com/OCDPlouPHF
— The C-Span Review (@CSpanreview) April 1, 2023
On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Trump in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) “hush money” case against him. The case — which is based on a supposed crime that happened over six years ago, well past the two-year statute of limitations on the crime — centers around a payment made to former porn star Stormy Daniels by Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen. The disgraced attorney previously admitted that he had made the payment with his own money, and was never reimbursed, but has since changed his story to aid in Bragg’s attempts to arrest Trump.
Trump is expected to make his first court appearance this week, likely on Tuesday, where he will be formally arraigned.
Legal experts believe that Trump will likely have his ability to defend himself in the court of public opinion severely restricted by Manhattan’s Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan — who Trump believes has a grudge against him.
The 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner will likely be hit with a gag order to prohibit him from speaking publicly about the case, especially “on his Truth Social platform which he has been able to use to circumvent the coordinated de-platforming of him from all major social media sites after the so-called ‘insurrection’ when Big Tech acted to shut down a sitting United States president,” BizPac Review noted.
The gag order could make Trump subject to punishment for criminal contempt if he speaks about the case, which under New York Law could land him with a fine of up to $1,000 and 30 days in jail.
One legal expert, former federal prosecutor Duncan Levin, has predicted that the gag order is “extremely likely.”
“I think it’s not only a possibility, but it’s extremely likely that there will be a gag order in the case,” Levin told Business Insider. “Gag orders are very common in criminal cases, particularly in cases where there is an enormous amount of pretrial publicity like this one.”
“This is a criminal case now, so the rules have changed, and the rules are no longer in his purview to make,” he added. “He is a criminal defendant and, you know, we see hundreds of thousands of criminal defendants across the country every day who have a lot of rights stripped away from them and he is now one of them. These proceedings are going to change his life.”
Despite Trump’s assertions that the judge is biased against him, Levin described Merchan as an “absolutely no-nonsense judge” who will “keep a very tight control on the proceedings.”
“Extrajudicial statements by Trump are not going to be looked on kindly by this judge,” Levin added. “If the judge finds that he’s crossed a line you’d better believe that this judge is going to do something about it.”
Trump recently blasted Merchan in a post on Truth Social — which some critics say will only contribute to the judge’s bias against him in the case.
“The Judge ‘assigned’ to my Witch Hunt Case, a ‘Case’ that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME. His name is Juan Manuel Marchan, was hand picked by Bragg & the Prosecutors, & is the same person who ‘railroaded’ my 75 year old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a ‘plea’ deal (Plead GUILTY, even if you are not, 90 DAYS, fight us in Court, 10 years (life!) in jail. He strong armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn’t ‘plead,’ VICIOUSLY. APPEALING!” read Trump’s post, which was published on Friday, the day after Bragg’s grand jury handed down the indictment.
Meanwhile, the mainstream media is reportedly salivating over the increase in ratings they will likely get from covering the Trump trial. Several media organizations have launched a coordinated push to demand access to the courtroom with cameras.
Numerous news outlets — including NBC News, the New York Times and the Associated Press — have also demanded that the indictment be unsealed.
“Because of the overwhelming public interest in the contents of the indictment, and because no valid purpose is served by keeping the indictment under seal pending arraignment, we respectfully request that it be unsealed without delay. Indeed, any delay only allows speculation about the content of the indictment to proliferate,” the law firm representing the media organizations wrote in a request to the judge.