Legal Expert Calls Latest Trial Developments ‘Very, Very Ominous’ For Team Trump

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Early Tuesday, it wasn’t going great for former President Donald Trump’s defense team amid a criminal case in New York City accusing the ex-White House occupant of falsifying business records in connection to hush money from before the 2016 elections and alleged ambitions of impacting that year’s presidential race.

Before the court returned to the main trial proceedings, presiding Judge Juan Merchan led a hearing to examine alleged violations by Trump of a gag order that the judge issued earlier. Towards the end of the hearing, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche tried to convince the judge that Trump/his team were working diligently to comply with the directives, which block a wide range of public attacks on witnesses, jurors, and others. The judge was definitely not impressed. “You are losing all credibility with the court, I have to tell you right now,” Merchan said, per one reporter’s recounting.

In legal parlance, “the court” normally refers in contexts such as that one to the presiding judge/judges themselves, meaning Merchan.

“Very very ominous for a judge to say Trump’s lawyer has lost all credibility with the court,” remarked former Justice Department official Neal Katyal, now a legal analyst. MSNBC’s Katie Phang shared a similar perspective in an extensively viewed post to which Katyal was responding.

“It is never a good day for a lawyer if the judge presiding over your jury trial tells you that you are losing all credibility with the court,” Phang wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “You don’t ever want to trash your reputation or lose your credibility over a case or client or a client’s position.” That credibility is likely to be critical for possibly future defense pushes amid this trial, so if it’s on the rocks, that could be rough for the former president’s defense!