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Court denies Trump’s request to remove gag order in hush money case

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press before closing arguments at his civil fraud trial at State Supreme Court in New York on January 11^ 2024

On Tuesday, a New York Court declined to hear an appeal to remove the gag order in former President Donald Trump’s hush-money conviction case. Per NBC News, the New York Court of Appeals said it was dismissing Trump’s appeal “upon the ground that no substantial constitutional question is directly involved,” meaning the gag order remains in effect.

Judge Juan Merchan, who oversaw Trump’s criminal conviction case, prohibited Trump from discussing witnesses, jurors and others associated with his criminal trial, which ended in a conviction last month. The judge himself and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg were exempt. An intermediate appellate court upheld the gag order, finding Merchan “properly weighed petitioner’s First Amendment Rights against the court’s historical commitment to ensuring the fair administration of justice in criminal cases and the right of persons related or tangentially related to the criminal proceedings from being free from threats, intimidation, harassment, and harm.”

Trump was found guilty in May by a jury of his peers on all 34 counts against him in his New York hush-money trial, for allegedly falsifying business documents in an attempt to cover up an affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels. He has since denied the affair and pleaded not guilty to all charges prior to his conviction while maintaining his innocence

Trump has objected to the gag order, as well as violating the court order multiple times during the trial and has been fined $10,000 in the process. Trump’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 11, four days before the July 15 start of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee where Trump is expected to accept the Republican nomination, in-person or virtually.

Editorial credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

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