Legal Experts SCORCH Judge Merchan For Refusing To Lift Gag Order On Trump


The continuance of a gag order in former President Donald Trump’s hush money case is drawing renewed scrutiny from legal experts who charged the judge with unfairly silencing the presidential candidate on the campaign trail.

Since Trump’s guilty verdict last month, Manhattan District Judge Juan Merchan has maintained a gag order over the Republican while he awaits a sentencing hearing on July 11th, a decision that effectively freezes Trump’s ability to criticize the decision and actors. He has previously been fined $9,000 for multiple violations of the gag order. Constitutional experts and law experts believe attorneys for the former president have grounds to petition an appeals court.

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“You have a local New York judge effectively limiting what the leading presidential candidate can say in the months leading up to an election,” Jonathan Turley, law professor and Georgetown University, told Fox News Digital. “The continuation of the gag order seems untethered from any compelling rationale, particularly in light of the election.”

While appellate courts in New York are “highly deferential” to matters of courtroom management, Turley maintained it is “deeply concerning that Judge Merchan would continue a gag order long after the verdict has been reached and the jury dismissed the case.”

“Putting aside the questionable value of the continuation of the gag order, in this case, Judge Merchan is ignoring the countervailing cost for the political system,” Turley added.

A New York appeals court again on Tuesday dismissed Trump’s request to lift the gag order, ruling there is “no substantial constitutional question is directly involved.” The former president has complained that the order effectively limits his ability to talk about the case during next week’s debate against President Joe Biden, as well as his First Amendment rights.

John Shu, a former high-level attorney in both Bush presidential administrations, said no other prominent defendant in New York has ever been subjected to the restrictions Trump faces.

“The Manhattan DA’s office has charged all kinds of high-profile criminal defendants throughout its history, ranging from celebrities to gangsters, such as Lucky Luciano, the head of La Commissione, and they weren’t silenced the way former President Trump was,” Shu told Fox. “Neither was John Gotti, the former head of the Gambino crime family and known as the ‘Teflon Don,’” though Gotti faced a federal case. “Say what you want about Donald Trump, but he’s not a mobster.”

Continuing on, he added, “The trial is over and there’s no chance that Judge Merchan is going to vacate the verdict and grant a retrial. Both the verdict and the gag order now will go through the New York state appellate system as two separate appeals.”

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said in a statement to Fox, “President Trump and his legal team will continue to fight against the unconstitutional Gag Order imposed by Justice Merchan.”

“The Gag Order wrongfully silences the leading candidate for President of the United States, President Trump, at the height of his campaign. The Gag Order applies only to President Trump and not to any of his political opponents, critics, or even Crooked Joe Biden. The Election Interfering Gag Order violates the First Amendment rights of President Trump and all American voters, who have a fundamental right to hear his message,” he added.

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