Trump Says Judge Is ‘Rigging’ 2024 Election

( – Former President Donald Trump is currently a criminal defendant in a criminal trial in Manhattan. He is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments to influence the 2016 presidential election. The judge on the case issued a gag order against Trump after he began talking about witnesses and the judge’s family. He violated that order multiple times and has now faced consequences.

On April 30, Judge Juan Merchan ruled that the defendant had violated his gag order nine times and fined him the maximum monetary penalty allowed for such an offense in New York – $9,000, or $1,000 per violation. Merchan also warned that further violations could result in jail time for the defendant.

Trump took to social media to complain after the judge found him in contempt of court. He claimed that the judge took away his “constitutional right to free speech,” declaring he is the “only presidential candidate in history to be gagged.” The defendant said not only was the trial “rigged,” but Merchan was also “rigging” the election with the gag order.

A gag order is regularly used in court to stop defendants and other individuals from revealing information to the public and to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial. In this case, the measure is being used to keep witnesses, parties involved in the case, and their families free from harm and intimidation.

Merchan wrote in the eight-page order that the defendant had every right to speak freely and “to defend himself publicly.” The order stops Trump from “making or directing others to make public statements” about witnesses — known or foreseeable — counsel, the district attorney’s staff or family, family members of any counsel or staff, and jurors if the intent of those statements is to “materially interfere with” the case.

The trial is expected to conclude in about six weeks. It started on April 15.

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