Trump Rants About Gag Order Before Reportedly Dozing Off in Court

donald trump before trial

Donald Trump claimed on Friday that he has been stripped of his constitutional right to speak to the press … while ranting to a giant gaggle of reporters. 

The former president took time before entering court in his criminal hush money trial to once again complain about a gag order barring him from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, court staff, and jurors involved in the case. 

“The gag order has to come off. People are allowed to speak about me and I have a gag order,” Trump said. They are taking away my constitutional rights to speak, and that includes speaking to you. I have a lot to say to you, and I am not allowed to say it — and I’m the only one. Everyone else can say whatever they want about me. They can say anything they want, they can continue to make up lies […] But I’m not allowed to speak. I want to speak to the press and everybody else about it. So why am I gagged?”

Trump has, in fact, been speaking. Loudly. To everyone. 

The former president rails about the case to the press multiple times a day when entering and exiting the courtroom, and has also been posting his thoughts on the trial with his characteristic barrages of commentary on Truth Social. 

On Friday, Trump spent the morning ranting on Truth Social about why he deserved widespread presidential immunity from alleged crimes committed while president — a proposal the Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments on next week and which could have profound effects on the various criminal cases against Trump. “If a President doesn’t have IMMUNITY, he/she will be nothing more than a ‘Ceremonial’ President, rarely having the courage to do what has to be done for our Country. This is not what the Founders had in mind! Protect Presidential Immunity. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” he wrote. 

What Trump is not allowed to do is use his public statements to attempt to influence, intimidate, or attack those involved in the trial — a standard ask of criminal defendants. Even those minimal restrictions are proving difficult for the former president to manage. 

On Monday, prosecutors requested that Trump be punished for allegedly violating a gag order barring him from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, court staff, and jurors involved in the case. On Thursday, they requested that Merchan consider an additional seven alleged violations of the order in a hearing scheduled for next week. Prosecutors pointed to several social media posts in which Trump attacked the juror selection process. In one post, Trump quoted Fox News host Jesse Watters, who claimed: “They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump jury.”  

Trump’s actions during the ongoing jury selection process have even led to a reprimand from Judge Juan Merchan. On Tuesday, Merchan sharply admonished Trump and his team after the former president was heard muttering commentary during the questioning of potential jurors. “I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom. I want to make that crystal clear,” Merchan said.   


Twelve jurors have been selected, and the search continues for the six alternates that will fill out the final roster. However the scrutiny placed on potential jurors has already affected some prospective participants’ willingness to sit for the trial. On Thursday one juror who had been selected for the trial requested to be excused, citing concerns about the amount of identifying details about her being reported in the press and the potential of being identified publicly. 

Yet for all of Trump’s complaining and commentary about the trial and jury selection, the former president can’t seem to actually stay engaged in the proceedings. Maggie Haberman of The New York Times reported on Monday that he was dozing off during the proceedings, and then noted that he did so again on Friday. Trump also reportedly fell asleep on Tuesday and Thursday.

Source link:

Recommended For You

About the Author: News Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *