Trump Just Committed A ‘Clear-Cut Violation’ Of His Gag Order, Legal Figure Contends


In complaining after court wrapped up for the day about expected trial witness Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump perpetrated a “totally clear-cut violation” of his gag order in the New York City criminal case, argued legal expert (and former prosecutor) Harry Litman.

The order, imposed by presiding Judge Juan Merchan, blocks a range of public attacks by the former president on witnesses, jurors, and others amid the case accusing Trump of falsifying business records in connection with hush money from before the 2016 election.

Cohen, a former “fixer” for Trump, was involved in those arrangements, providing the funds for Stormy Daniels, a woman who allegedly had an affair with the eventual president. Mirroring the progression of a past case against Cohen, local prosecutors challenging Trump in this case link the hush money to alleged ambitions of impacting that year’s elections, amid which the idea is that helping keep Daniels’ story under wraps stood to benefit Trump’s campaign.

“totally clear-cut violation of gag order in Trump’s post-court tirade against Michael Cohen. Tomorrow is hearing on previous violations alleged by DA. Merchan could really box his ears. More generally, what is Trump thinking and does he intend to just continue?” Litman posted.

Prosecutors are already alleging that Trump violated the order via a series of social media posts also invoking Daniels herself, who may herself provide testimony.

It’s unclear if Trump himself will end up testifying, but in the meantime, presiding Judge Juan Merchan said Monday that prosecutors are free to question Trump about a wide range of his past legal troubles if he takes the stand. That list includes the outcome of his civil case from state Attorney General Letitia James alleging business fraud, the upheld allegations from writer E. Jean Carroll of defamation, and more. The idea would be to erode his credibility before jurors.