Unheard Of In Legal History: Trump Faces Gag Order Amidst Judicial Uproar, Listen To What This Former Watergate Prosecutor Has To Say About It

By Tommy Wilson | Saturday, 30 March 2024 04:10 PM
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In an unprecedented move, former President Donald Trump has been issued a gag order in his ongoing hush money payments case, a development that has left legal experts astounded.

Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor, expressed his surprise during an interview with CNN's Fredericka Whitfield. "This is so unusual," Akerman said. "This never happens, in over 50 years in law practice, both as a prosecutor and a defense lawyer."

The gag order was issued on Tuesday by New York Judge Juan Merchan, following a request from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

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Akerman explained the rarity of such a decision, stating, "It’s not done, and the reason it’s not done is because once you start disparaging the judge, disparaging people in the courtroom, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way because that’s the judge that’s going to sentence you."

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Akerman further noted that Trump's behavior was unique in his experience. "Trump is the only one I have ever seen do this and do it in such an outrageous way that it’s really forced the courts – to where does the First Amendment stop and where do we need a gag order in order to protect the judicial system?" he questioned.

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Trump, who is the presumptive Republican nominee, has been vociferously critical of the judge and the gag order, labeling it as "illegal, un-American, unconstitutional." He accused Merchan of "wrongfully attempting to deprive me of my First Amendment Right to speak out against the Weaponization of Law Enforcement."

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In a further twist, Trump suggested that the gag order was influenced by Merchan’s adult daughter’s role as the president of a political consulting firm. He expressed his views on Truth Social, stating, "Judge Juan Merchan, who is suffering from an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome (whose daughter represents Crooked Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, and other Radical Liberals, has just posted a picture of me behind bars, her obvious goal, and makes it completely impossible for me to get a fair trial) has now issued another illegal, un-American, unConstitutional ‘order,’ as he continues to try and take away my Rights."

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In his decision to issue the gag order, Judge Merchan cited Trump's "prior extrajudicial statements," which he believed posed "a sufficient risk to the administration of justice."

The order prohibits Trump from making or directing others to make public statements about witnesses, counsel in the case, court staff, DA staff, or their family members. It also restricts him from commenting on any prospective or chosen juror.

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Merchan's decision was influenced by Trump's history of making inflammatory statements during other trials. He noted, "Indeed, his statements were threatening, inflammatory, denigrating, and the targets of his statements ranged from local and federal officials, court and court staff, prosecutors and staff assigned to the cases, and private individuals including grand jurors performing their civic duty."

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Akerman later added, "Trump's unprecedented pattern of disparaging and threatening judges, prosecutors and witnesses is self-destructive and makes it more likely he will end up in the slammer."

Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who served under Trump, expressed his concerns about the gag order to Fox News. "I think these gag orders are very dangerous… The First Amendment is fairly broad in its protection of our right to speak and speak our minds, and I think ultimately this judge is going to have to tread very carefully," he warned.

This is the third gag order issued against Trump in recent months, marking a new chapter in his legal battles.

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