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NY Court Denies Trump's Appeal in 'Hush Money' Case


Trump addressing the media

A New York court has dismissed former President Donald Trump's attempt to overturn a communication ban restricting his comments regarding ongoing criminal trial participants. The court maintained the order does not infringe on Trump's First Amendment rights.


Justice Juan Merchan, presiding over Trump's trial for 34 counts of falsifying business records, initially imposed the order to prevent Trump from discussing potential witnesses, jury members, and legal professionals involved in the trial. The court later extended this restriction to his daughter.


Despite the order, Trump retains the right to critique Justice Merchan and the Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg. Trump has denied all charges.


The appellate division of the New York Supreme Court upheld Merchan's decision on Tuesday. The court cited the risk of Trump's public statements endangering the integrity of the testimony of witnesses and potential witnesses.


The ruling emphasized the balance Justice Merchan struck between Trump's First Amendment rights and the court's commitment to fair justice administration. The court also stressed the importance of protecting those involved in the trial from threats, intimidation, and harassment.


Trump has been found guilty of disregarding the court order 10 times, leading Merchan to warn him about potential imprisonment for future breaches. The most recent violation involved Trump challenging the jury's political composition.


Following a request from Trump's attorney Todd Blanche to modify the ban, Merchan dismissed the appeal. The judge referred to the need for the order due to the nature of Trump's attacks. Merchan stated, ""Your client's track record speaks for itself.""


Trump's attorney had sought permission for Trump to publicly respond to recent testimony given by Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who received $130,000 in 2016 in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, which he denies.


Merchan denied Blanche's request, asserting the necessity of the gag order given the severity of Trump's verbal attacks. Merchan pointed out, "Your client's track record speaks for itself."

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