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Judge Tells Trump’s Lawyer He’s Losing All Credibility with the Court

After prosecutors listed Donald Trump’s ten alleged violations of the gag order, they asked that the defendant be reminded that incarceration is a possibility if he continues. Trump’s lawyers couldn’t defend their client’s actions, so they resorted to claiming that it was political speech and that no one had stopped him from reposting things so he figured it was okay. The Judge was not impressed, and warned the defense they were losing all credibility with the court.

Before Day 2 of Donald Trump’s first criminal trial got underway, the matter of his potential contempt of court by violating the gag order was addressed.

Judge Merchan began by noting that the burden is on the prosecution to prove Defendant Trump has committed contempt. Trump is accused of violating the gag order ten times, on his Truth Social account and his official campaign site. The orders are the April 1 order to show cause filed by the prosecution and a second one on April 18.

“Prosecution: Trump violated, TEN TIMES, the expanded gag order. 8 were on his Truth Social account and 2 were on his official campaign website,” MSNBC’s Katie Phang shared.

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“ADA Christopher Conroy: The court found the ‘types of extrajudicial statements’ Trump made pose a ‘very real threat’ to the integrity of the proceedings. Yesterday, ‘here in this building, right outside those doors […] the defendant violated the order again on camera,’” MSNBC’s Adam Klasfeld reported.

He further reported that prosecutors said they’d be filing another application for an order to show cause on the alleged violation from the previous evening later on Tuesday.

“The prosecutor says Trump seems to think: ‘No one is off-limits to this defendant, and he can attack and intimidate any one he wants.’”

The alleged violations at issue on Tuesday morning are as follows, as reported by Klasfeld:

Trump gag order violations

Trump alleged gag order violations #1

Trump alleged gag order violation #2

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Conroy took on the defense’s narrative that this is Trump’s free political speech, saying that actually, putting MAGA into a post makes it more ominous: “Throwing a ‘MAGA’ into a post doesn’t make it political. It may make it more ominous.”

But in the end, the prosecutor doesn’t ask that the defendant be jailed, but rather that he once again be warned, in addition to fines that Trump can pay so easily they serve as no deterrent.

“Prosecutor: The Court can fine Trump $1000 for each violation or be jailed up to 30 days.

We seek that you max him out at $1000 fine for each of the violations. Make him remove all of the offending posts. Finally, warn the defendant that his conduct will not be tolerated and that incarceration is an option,” Katie Phang reported.

Andrew Weissman made the point on MSNBC Monday evening that Trump is being treated much better than any other defendant would be in these circumstances, and this appears to be yet another example of the extraordinary privilege being afforded to the former president.

Trump’s lawyer argued that the defendant did not violate the gag order, that he knows what it says and that his speech was political.

Here’s a copy of what the gag order says:

ORDERED, that the Court’s Order of March 26, 2024, is amended as indicated below.

Defendant is directed to refrain from:

a. Making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding;

b. Making or directing others to make public statements about (1) counsel in the case other than the District Attorney, (2) members of the court’s staff and the District Attorney’s staff, or (3) the family members of any counsel, staff member, the Court or the District Attorney, if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with, or to cause others to materially interfere with, counsel’s or staff’s work in this criminal case, or with the knowledge that such interference is likely to result; and

b. Making or directing others to make public statements about any prospective juror or any juror in this criminal proceeding.

George Conway summed up the defense argument, saying “Blanche is pretty much arguing there’s a ‘running for president’ exception to the gag order that has been specifically directed at the man running for defendant. Merchan now getting pissed at Blanche’s unresponsiveness and evasiveness.”

Trump is sitting there with a frown on his face as his lawyer is “struggling to respond,” according to Phang.

Judge Merchan is “calling out Trump’s lie” about the timing of his “response” to a years old Stormy Daniels statement, which Trump said had just been found, per Conway.

When the Judge asked for caselaw that supports Trump’s position that he can repost and that doesn’t violate the gag order, Blanche said, “I don’t have any cases. It’s just common sense.”

Spoiler: It is not common sense that you can avoid responsibility for what you amplify simply by blasting to your supporters someone else’s words while under a gag order.

Trump’s lawyer tried to argue that because no consequences had been meted out thus far, he thought it was okay to repost. “Blanche says that he’s trying to argue that Trump’s history of reposting has gone “unchecked” by the prosecution or court. That history goes to Trump’s wilfulness, he says.
The point seems to be that Trump thought reposting was OK bc he’s done it before w/o consequence,” Anna Bower reported.

This was met with the Judge telling him, “You’re losing all credibility with the court.”

The Judge also told Trump’s lawyer that his client had “manipulated” what Jesse Waters said, so on top of Trump not just blasting other people’s comments, he manipulated what they said.

The Judge doesn’t seem impressed by the defense arguments, but again, as the Weissman appearance emphasized, the former president is being given more latitude than any other defendant would. The argument that he should be allowed to intimidate jurors and attack the judge and his family because it’s political speech is indicative of Donald Trump’s modus operandi. This is a man who as president incited an attack on his own country, for “political” reasons.

If being “political” is a literal get out of jail free card, then the Republican Party can be proud of starting a trend among criminals of running for president.

The court is on a break until 11 AM. The Judge said he was going to reserve decision on the matter of the alleged gag order violations, which Anna Bower says means he will think about it and announce a decision sometime later.

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