‘Extremely likely’ Trump hit with gag order; media wants unsealed indictment, cameras in courtroom

Former President Donald J. Trump will make his first court appearance this week when he will be formally arraigned after his indictment by a New York City grand jury on Thursday, an event that will be the first act in an ongoing media circus that will likely dwarf the spectacle of previous celebrity trials given the sustained hatred that has been directed at the ex-POTUS who could have his ability to defend himself in the court of public opinion severely hobbled by a judge who he believes has it in for him.

According to legal experts, the 2024 GOP frontrunner could effectively have his tongue cut out by Manhattan’s Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan who could slap him with a gag order prohibiting him from publicly discussing the Trumped-up charges against him in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s malicious prosecution, specifically on his Truth Social platform which he has been able to use to circumvent the coordinated de-platforming of him from all major social media sites after the so-called “insurrection” when Big Tech acted to shut down a sitting United States president.

One expert, former federal prosecutor Duncan Levin predicted that it is “extremely likely” that Merchan will gag Trump, a move that could make him subject to punishment for criminal contempt which under New York Law could result in him facing a fine of up to $1,000 and 30 days in jail and if it does happen, will be yet one more example of the two-tiered system of justice that now exists in America, especially when it comes to Trump and his supporters.

“I think it’s not only a possibility, but it’s extremely likely that there will be a gag order in the case,” Levin told Business Insider. “Gag orders are very common in criminal cases, particularly in cases where there is an enormous amount of pretrial publicity like this one.”

The former president recently slammed Merchan on Truth Social which could possibly influence the decision of a judge who he accused of being biased against him.

“The Judge “assigned” to my Witch Hunt Case, a “Case” that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME. His name is Juan Manuel Marchan, was hand picked by Bragg & the Prosecutors, & is the same person who “railroaded” my 75 year old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a “plea” deal (Plead GUILTY, even if you are not, 90 DAYS, fight us in Court, 10 years (life!) in jail. He strong armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn’t “plead,” VICIOUSLY. APPEALING!” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Friday, the day after Bragg’s grand jury indicted him.

(Image: Screengrab: Truth Social)

“This is a criminal case now, so the rules have changed, and the rules are no longer in his purview to make,” Levin added. “He is a criminal defendant and, you know, we see hundreds of thousands of criminal defendants across the country every day who have a lot of rights stripped away from them and he is now one of them. These proceedings are going to change his life.”

He also described Merchan as an “absolutely no-nonsense judge” who will “keep a very tight control on the proceedings.”

“Extrajudicial statements by Trump are not going to be looked on kindly by this judge,” Levin said. “If the judge finds that he’s crossed a line you’d better believe that this judge is going to do something about it.”

Another expert cited by Business Insider suggested that Marchan could “narrowly craft” any gag order to withstand an inevitable appeal by Trump’s legal team and that his status as the Republican presidential frontrunner ” certainly complicates the First Amendment questions that are always present when such an order is considered.”

“I could see where in a case like this based upon statements like that a judge could … issue a gag order,” Modisett said of Trump’s Truth Social diatribe against the judge. “Given Donald Trump’s history in litigation there is likely to be an appeal, but a carefully defined, narrowly restricted gag order would be upheld by the courts on appeal.”

In anticipation of massive ratings from Trump’s day in court and a possible tongue lashing by the judge, media organizations have launched a coordinated push for cameras to be allowed in the courtroom for the arraignment.

A coalition of news outlets including NBC News, the New York Times and the Associated Press have asked Judge Merchan to immediately unseal the indictment against Trump and allow the courtroom presence of cameras.

“Because of the overwhelming public interest in the contents of the indictment, and because no valid purpose is served by keeping the indictment under seal pending arraignment, we respectfully request that it be unsealed without delay. Indeed, any delay only allows speculation about the content of the indictment to proliferate,” the law firm representing the media organizations wrote.

Also making the argument that cameras should be allowed in the courtroom is New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman who suggested that the presence of a video feed would thwart the embattled former president’s ability to tell his side of the story.

(Video: CNN)

“People have a habit of taping Donald Trump. And they have a habit of taping Donald Trump, because he spins his own reality, and will contradict whatever people say about him,” she said. “A camera would be pretty vital, in terms of people understanding what happened, and not being told that something, it’s fake news. And in an era, where Trump is saying that all of these reports are not true?”

“I think there is a compelling argument for it, said the Democrat media operative who has been affectionally nicknamed as “Maggot” Haberman by the ex-POTUS. “I am skeptical that it will happen. Just I covered courts in the state. I know how against cameras in the courtroom judges are here.”

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Chris Donaldson


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