July 19, 2024
Bragg’s Team Seeks to Preserve Trump’s Gag on Lawfare Case Through July 11 Sentencing

Bragg’s Team Seeks to Preserve Trump’s Gag on Lawfare Case Through July 11 Sentencing

(Headline USA) Manhattan prosecutors on Wednesday continued to collued with leftist Judge Juan Merchan in a massive election interference campaign, even after a biased jury’s stunning conviction of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, in what has been widely condemned as a miscarriage of justice to the utmost degree.

Leftist lawyers with ties to the Biden Justice Department asked Merchan, a Biden donor, to keep Trump’s controversial gag order in place at least until the former president is sentenced in July, opposing a defense request that the restrictions be lifted following last week’s conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The crime, normally a state-level misdemeanor, was upgraded to a federal felony after the statute of limitations for the former expired.

Several high level public figures have faced slaps on the wrist for similar offenses, most notably Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, who paid a small fine for claiming the phony Steele dossier that she commissioned as a smear campaign against him and later used to launch an FBI investigation under false pretenses was a “legal expense.”

Clinton also avoided charges on far more serious matters involving her mishandling of classified material and destruction of evidence—crimes that the Left is also attempting to charge Trump with under similarly bogus circumstances.

Nonetheless, the verdict against Trump appeared to have backfired, fueling widespread public support for him and a massive fundraising effort that pulled in more than $200 million in the weekend following his conviction. It likewise appears to have little negative impact in polling although it may have led some reluctant Trump voters to support him as a rebuke to the blatantly corrupt justice system.

Consequently, leftist operatives are eager to tamp down as much as possible on the fallout, including doing everything they can to censor Trump himself as he finds himself at the peak of his influence ahead of the Republican National Convention.

On Tuesday, Trump lawyers Todd Blanche and Emil Bove had asked Merchan to end the gag order, arguing there was nothing to justify “continued restrictions on the First Amendment rights of President Trump” now that the trial is over.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Colangelo countered that the Manhattan DA’s office opposed any immediate termination of the gag order, which bars Trump from commenting about witnesses, jurors and others tied to the case.

The court “has an obligation to protect the integrity of these proceedings and the fair administration of justice at least through the sentencing hearing and the resolution of any post-trial motions,” the partisan Colangelo claimed disingenuously in his rebuttal to Trump’s lawyers.

While the gag order does not prevent the GOP leader from criticizing the judge himself, Merchan did specially amend the order to prevent Trump from criticizing his family after it came to light that the judge’s daughter, Loren, was receiving millions of dollars to run a digital marketing business that profited from running negative ads against Trump, including those related to the case.

At least one of her clients, Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., confessed to having inserted himself into the case by coaching star witness Michael Cohen, fueling suggestions that there may be other unseemly and illicit ties between Loren Merchan’s political operation and her father’s courtroom.

In issuing the gag order in March, Merchan noted that prosecutors had sought it “for the duration of the trial.”

Colangelo argued, however, that the order was “based not only on the need to avoid threats to the fairness of the trial itself” but also the judge’s “obligation to prevent actual harm to the integrity” of the case.

Colangelo said prosecutors favor having both sides submit written arguments to the court on the gag order issue in the next few weeks—a step that, if Merchan agrees, would keep the restrictions in place at least until nearly the end of the month.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced July 11. His conviction is punishable by up to four years behind bars, but prosecutors have not said if they would seek incarceration, and it’s not clear if Merchan would impose such a sentence. Other options include a fine or probation.

Blanche and Bove argued in their letter Tuesday that Trump is entitled to “unrestrained campaign advocacy” in light of President Joe Biden’s public comments about the verdict last Friday, and continued public criticism of Trump by Cohen, his ex-lawyer, as well as porn star Stormy Daniels, a key prosecution witnesses whose alleged 2006 fling with Trump was at the heart of the trial.

Trump’s lawyers also contend the gag order must go away so he’s free to fully address the case and his conviction with the first presidential debate scheduled for June 27.

Trump has continued to operate somewhat under the idea that he’s still muzzled, telling reporters Friday at Trump Tower: “I’m under a gag order, nasty gag order.”

Referring to Cohen, Trump said, “I’m not allowed to use his name because of the gag order” before slamming his lawyer-turned-courtroom foe as “a sleazebag.”

During the trial, Merchan held Trump in contempt of court, fined him $10,000 for violating the gag order and threatened to put him in jail if he did it again.

Trump’s use of the term “sleazebag” to describe Cohen just before the trial rankled prosecutors, but was not considered a gag-order violation by the judge. Merchan declined to sanction Trump for an April 10 social-media post that referred to Cohen and Daniels by that insult.

The judge said at the time that Trump’s contention that he was responding to previous posts by Cohen that were critical of him “is sufficient to give” him pause on whether prosecutors met their burden in demonstrating that the post was out of bounds.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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