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Donald Trump’s impeachment in Manhattan on Tuesday was notable for several reasons; Not only was this the first time a former US president had ever been arrested, but it was also a massive media spectacle the likes of which had never been heard before, even in New York.
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But another first, which received less attention, occurred during the proceedings, which could have a profound impact on the next election and the ones after that. It raises the possibility that a New York judge could succeed where many others have tried and failed, forcing Mr Trump to remain silent.
The moment came when Mr Trump’s incendiary social media posts about the case and the district attorney prosecuting him brought the matter to the court’s attention. As Mr. Conroy handed printed copies of the former president’s posts from his Truth Social website to the judge and defense attorney, he denounced “a series of public statements threatening the district attorney’s office” by Mr. Trump, one of “A picture that shows” Mr. Trump swinging a baseball bat at the District Attorney’s head. He then accused the former president of “threatening our city, our justice system, our courts and our office.”
Judge Juan Marchen appeared concerned. He urged defense counsel to “speak to your client and anyone else you need to talk to, and remind them to please refrain from making statements that are likely to incite violence or civil unrest” and that “words or Do not engage in conduct that jeopardizes the rule” of the law, particularly as it applies to these proceedings in this courtroom.
He also warned.
“It’s a request I’m making. I’m not making it an order. But now that I’ve made the request, if I have to hand over something like this again in the future, I’ll have to watch it closely.’
Judge Marchan chose his words carefully, and for good reason. Mr. Trump is not only a former president, but a current candidate for the next presidential race – a frontrunner, even. A gag order in this case would have to weigh the First Amendment rights of the presidential candidate and the judge’s duty to ensure a fair trial.
He made it clear that he understands the importance of such an order.
“Certainly, the court will not enforce a gag order at this time, even if it is requested,” after the district attorney’s office shared Mr Trump’s social media post.
“Such restrictions on First Amendment rights are at best severe and intolerable at the least. This applies doubly to Mr. Trump, because he is the candidate for President of the United States. So, obviously, those First Amendment rights are being seriously violated.” are more important,” he said.
Judge Marchen’s warning had no effect. Hours after sitting respectfully in the New York courtroom, Mr. Trump held a press conference at his resort in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, where he again criticized District Attorney Bragg, and this time about the judge. I went further complaining. and the judge’s daughter.
On the day of the impeachment, Donald Trump Jr., Mr. Trump’s son, also shared an article about working for the judge’s daughter Kamala Harris campaignincluding a picture.
“I have a Trump-hating judge with a Trump-hating wife and family whose daughter works[ed] For Kamala Harris,” Mr Trump said at Mar-a-Lago. “The criminal is the district attorney because he illegally leaked a large amount of grand jury information,” Mr Trump said to loud applause, “for which he should be prosecuted, or at least he should resign, He continued.
The speech indicated that Mr Trump would not mince his words when it came to the matter. That leaves the judge with a series of difficult questions: Does he now seek to impose a restraining order on the former president? And what would such an order look like under these unique circumstances? Is it fair to restrict a presidential candidate’s speech on a matter he considers central to his next campaign? And what will be the punishment if Mr. Trump continues to slack off, as he is wont to do?
That consideration will have an impact not only on the case itself, but also on the future direction of the country and its democracy.
Michael Bachner, a former assistant district attorney and white-collar criminal defense attorney in the Rackets Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, told Independent He was being treated unlike any other defendant, let alone being harassed by the judge.
“Clearly, if it were not Donald Trump, if it were a regular defendant, most judges – including Judge Merchen – would have that person back in court with a formal order issued the next day or shortly thereafter,” he said, for his Mar-a-Lago speech.
“As a result of what Trump did at Mar-a-Lago, the Court may feel compelled at this time to take an additional step and issue a gag order or a partial gag order,” he said. “It may be that the prosecution has already written a letter to the judge asking them to consider doing so.”
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The effect of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric was almost immediate. On Thursday, NBC reported that Judge and his family received multiple threats in the 24 hours following the allegation. One official said “dozens” of threats were issued directly to Judge Marchen over an unspecified time frame.
If Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago speech, given after the judge’s warning, compels the judge to act, he will be wading into constitutional, political and legal territory. He will be tasked with drafting an order that weighs a presidential candidate’s rights to speak with complete freedom on a national platform, and a defendant issuing threats or statements that could affect the outcome of the trial. .
This would be the first time in history that such an order would be issued to a presidential candidate. As a result, no one knows what it will look like.
“The court may say, ‘Mr. Trump, I am currently advising you. You may not make any public statements about the judge, the prosecutor, the prosecutor’s family, you may not publicly discuss the facts of the case. Can,” Mr. Bachner said.
“Look, when you’re a defendant in a criminal case, you don’t have the same rights that other people have. And banning defendants in a criminal case is extremely common,” he said.
Norm Eisen, a lawyer in Trump’s first impeachment trial and co-counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, who has written extensively about the case, said any order issued by the judge would likely “prevent or prevent threats of violence.” be too narrowly framed to provoke.”
“This would most likely apply to those who are directly involved in the case: prosecutors, witnesses, court staff and of course their families. As long as he is not inciting violence, it applies to Mr. Trump, including the case.” would not otherwise restrict speech, he said.
Eisen said the order targeting the threat of violence “should not prevent Mr. Trump from running freely for office and even talking about the matter.” “He can do that, and stick to the merits, without using words like ‘death and destruction’ or conjuring up images of him swinging a baseball bat at DA Alvin Bragg’s head. That’s the kind of thing that’s valid.” Beyond the parameters that a political candidate needs to be able to say whether or not they are a criminal defendant.
Such an order could be drafted, he said, without restricting the former president’s First Amendment rights.
“The reality is that this and other possible future impeachments of Mr. Trump, which I believe are coming, are important issues to the public. So there is First Amendment protection, but it does not extend to threatening violence,” he said. Said.
Republicans have already indicated they would consider such an order an outrage. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, both Republicans, said Tuesday that the gag order would be “unconstitutional.”
The lawmakers said, “Putting any restrictions on President Trump’s ability to discuss his abuse at the hands of a politically motivated prosecutor would only demonstrate the weaponization of the New York justice system.” said in a statement,
Any potential order focused on preventing unrest would be incredibly unique, according to Jay Schweitzman, a criminal attorney in Brooklyn.
“The judges were walking the line of saying, ‘Well, I’m not going to go there. But I’m going to go there and consider whether…
Many before him have tried, but could a New York judge force Donald Trump to shut up?
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