Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Trump may have violated the hush money gag order while ripping his guilty verdict

By 37ci3 Jun1,2024

Donald Trump discussed two witnesses in the criminal case against him during his plea on Friday his convictioncomments that could violate a judge’s gag order against him.

Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment about Trump’s comments to witnesses. Judge Juan Merchan April order Trump is prohibited from “making or directing public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses regarding their potential involvement in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”

Trump noted Robert CostelloA witness testifying on behalf of Trump, under his name at the time Speech at Trump Towerand went on at length about his former lawyer Michael Cohenthe main witness, whose name he did not use, but who was clearly the person he was referring to.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at Trump Tower
Donald Trump speaks at Trump Tower on Friday.Julia Nikhinson / AP

“This was a highly qualified lawyer. Now, I’m not allowed to use his name because there’s a gag order, but you know he’s a jerk. Everyone knows that. It took me a while to learn that,” Trump said, referring to Cohen’s description of himself as a “fixer.” “He worked, but he wasn’t a fixer. He was a lawyer. You know they love to use the word fixer. He was not a fixer. He used to be a lawyer,” Trump said.

Trump praised Costello, a lawyer who negotiated to represent Cohen in 2018 and has since become a staunch Cohen critic, as a “good guy” who was mistreated by a judge during his testimony.

Merchan reprimanded Costello, a veteran New York defense attorney, without the jury present, including visibly and audibly reacting to the prosecution’s objections and Merchan’s rulings. “As a witness in my courtroom, you don’t say, ‘Cala,’ if you don’t like my rulings,” Merchan told Costello. “You don’t give me the side eye and you don’t roll your eyes.” He warned him that if his behavior continued, he could be removed from the stand and his statement removed from the record.

He also appeared to make a slanted reference to Trump Stormy Daniels, the adult movie star who claimed to have had sex with Trump in 2006 and who allegedly paid Cohen $130,000 weeks before the 2016 election. Referring to the DA, Trump called “despicable” people to the podium. “By the way, nothing happened. Nothing happened,” Trump said, appearing to refer to Daniels’ claim.

Trump called the judge, who was not covered by the gag order, a “devil” and a “tyrant.”

Merchan fined Trump a total of $10,000 for repeatedly violating the order barring him from discussing with witnesses, jurors, court staff and individual prosecutors during the trial, and warned that future violations could potentially land him in jail.

“Mr. Trump, it is important to understand that the last thing I want to do is to put you in jail. You are the former president of the United States and maybe the next president,” Merchan said. The judge said that Trump’s “continuing willful violation of court orders threatens the administration of justice and constitutes a direct attack on the rule of law. I cannot allow this to continue.”

It is unclear whether the judge’s position will soften after the testimony is concluded. he is one of the reasons given congestion order Concerns that Trump’s testimony might influence witnesses were raised, but that’s no longer an issue. The judge also said during the trial that he might consider lifting the order against Cohen because Cohen was openly critical of Trump during the trial. Cohen called it quits after a judge’s warning, but sat for an interview MSNBC Thursday night after sentencing.

Cohen praised the jury for finding it Trump is guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records. “It’s a responsibility. This is what America needs right now,” Cohen said. Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11.

“The order is part of the public court record and speaks for itself,” Al Baker, a spokesman for the state judiciary, said when asked to respond to Trump’s remarks.

In remarks on Friday, Trump made it clear that he believed the gag order was still in place despite the conclusion of the testimony. “I’m under a gag order, a nasty gag order,” he said, adding at one point, “I’m the front man for the president, and I’m under a gag order.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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By 37ci3

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