New York High Court Rejects Trump’s Appeal on Gag Order in Criminal Case

Jimmy Williams

New York’s highest court ruled Tuesday that it will not consider former President Donald Trump’s challenge to a gag order issued in the criminal case in which he was recently convicted of 34 felony counts. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal in a brief one-sentence decision, stating that “no substantial constitutional question is directly involved.”

Justice Juan Merchan originally issued the gag order on March 26, prohibiting Trump from making public comments about witnesses, jurors, court and prosecutor staff, and the relatives of any counsel or court staffer. The order was later updated to include members of Trump’s own family due to his statements, which Merchan described as “threatening, inflammatory, [and] denigrating.”

Trump violated the gag order ten times before and during his trial, where he was found guilty of falsifying business records. The charges stemmed from a scheme to cover up reimbursements for a “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, made days before the 2016 presidential election to prevent voters from learning of her allegations.

Trump has vowed to appeal the conviction, which may ultimately reach the Court of Appeals. He has expressed strong opposition to the gag order, claiming it infringes on his free speech rights and prevents him from discussing key witnesses in the case, such as his former lawyer Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels.

A campaign spokesperson reiterated this complaint in a statement, asserting that the gag order “violates the First Amendment rights of President Trump and all American voters, who have a fundamental right to hear his message.” The statement continued, “President Trump and his legal team will continue to fight against the unconstitutional Gag Order imposed by Justice Merchan.”

During arguments before a lower appellate court on April 9, Trump attorney Emil Bove contended that Trump was unable to respond to public comments made by Cohen and Daniels. Steven Wu, an attorney for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, countered that Bove’s argument was a pretext for allowing Trump to make “insults” and “inflammatory remarks about people involved in the case.”

The lower court, the appellate division of the first department of the New York Supreme Court, dismissed the gag order appeal in May, agreeing that Merchan “properly determined that [Trump’s] public statements posed a significant threat to the integrity of the testimony of witnesses and potential witnesses in this case.” Trump subsequently sought intervention from the Court of Appeals.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced in the case on July 11. His attorney, Blanche, requested on June 4 that Merchan lift the gag order, citing the conclusion of the trial. Merchan has not yet issued a public decision on this request.

About J. Williams

Check Also

President Joe Biden at NATO press conference

Biden At NATO Press Conference Rebuts Doubters: ‘I’m the best qualified to govern’

Ashley Murray, New Jersey Monitor President Joe Biden dug in on his 2024 reelection bid …

Leave a Reply