Trump Trial

Judge in “Hush Money” Trial Tells Trump’s Attorney That He’s “Losing All Credibility”

DCNF(DCNF)—Judge Juan Merchan told former President Donald Trump’s defense attorney that he is “losing all credibility” Tuesday during a hearing to consider alleged violations of the gag order imposed on his client.

Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche argued that Trump did not violate the order, which restricts Trump from making statements about witnesses, prosecutors besides the district attorney, court staff and jurors, along with family members of the staff, district attorney or judge. Prosecutors argued that Trump violated the order ten times and urged the judge in court filings to impose the maximum $1,000 fine for each of his alleged violations.

“He’s allowed to respond to political attacks, Your Honor,” Blanche told the judge during the hearing, according to Politico. “There is no dispute that President Trump is facing a barrage of political attacks from all sides, including from the two witnesses referenced in the early post.”

Posts prosecutors took issue with included one referencing porn star Stormy Daniels and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, two witnesses in the case who have frequently attacked Trump publicly, as “sleaze bags.”

Blanche argued that Trump was being careful to comply with the order and was aware of what it prohibits. He also argued that reposts are not subject to the order, according to the New York Times.

“You’re losing all credibility, I have to tell you right now,” Merchan told Blanche, according to Politico. “You’re losing all credibility with the court.”

Merchan imposed the initial gag order on March 26. He expanded it April 1 to also restrict statements about “the family members of any counsel, staff member, the Court or the District Attorney.”

“This Court should warn defendant that future violations of the Court’s restrictions on his extrajudicial statements can be punished not only with additional fines, but also with a term of incarceration of up to thirty days,” District Attorney Alvin Bragg wrote in the April 15 filing.

Merchan said at the end of the hearing that he would reserve judgement on the matter of Trump’s alleged violations, according to multiple reports.

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