Trump Lies That Gag Order Prevents Him From Testifying

trump on his gag order

The former president is looking for ways to walk back his promise to take the stand in his hush-money trial

Donald Trump claimed that he is unable to take the stand as a witness in his New York hush-money trial because he is under a gag order. This is not true. 

Nevertheless, the former president claimed on Thursday that he’s “not allowed to testify.” 

“I’m under a gad order,” he added in his statement to reporters gathered outside of the courtroom. “I’m not allowed to testify because this judge is totally conflicted — has me under an institutional gag order. Nobody’s ever had that before, and we don’t like it, it’s not fair.” 

While Trump is subject to a court order barring him from publicly commenting on witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, and other court staff involved in the case, he is free to testify before the jury should he and his legal team decide to do so. The former president himself said in the not-so-distant past that he plans to take the stand. 

“I’m testifying. I tell the truth,” Trump told reporters last month at his Mar-a-Lago estate. “I mean, all I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there’s no case. They have no case.”


This week, the former president was penalized by the court for repeatedly violating the gag order, which Judge Juan Merchan imposed last month. On Tuesday, Merchan ruled on a slate of alleged breaches raised by prosecutors last week. Trump was found to have broken the court-imposed order in 9 out of the 10 instances flagged by the prosecution, and fined $9,000 — $1,000 for each violation. Trump was further ordered to delete the offending social media posts from his accounts. 

On Thursday, Merchan heard arguments from Manhattan prosecutors on four more alleged violations of the order, and will likely hand down a ruling in the coming days.

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