Republican pushing bill to ban gag orders dubbed ‘Let Trump Speak Act’

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) is touting a new bill that he says would prohibit judges from issuing gag orders on defendants in most civil and criminal cases.

The bill, called the “Let Trump Speak Act,” comes as former President Trump continues to fight against his gag order in the ongoing hush money criminal trial in New York.

In an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo on Monday, Ogles said the bill aims to target gag orders “that are clearly politically motivated.” The bill would also establish a right of action, which Ogles said would provide a basis for the defendant to sue “because his rights are being violated.”

Ogles, who attended Trump’s trial last week, sharply criticized the prosecution in the hush money case and said in the interview, “You can tell that this trial is nothing more than a political witch hunt.”

“And so enough is enough,” Ogles continued. “Trump should be acquitted. He should be back on the campaign trail and that’s it. They’re trying to keep Trump off of the campaign trail and keeping him tied up in court.”

Trump has railed against his gag order as a violation of his First Amendment rights, arguing it prevents him from responding to political attacks that are levied by high-profile witnesses and others.

Under the gag order, Trump is barred from publicly commenting on witnesses, prosecutors, court staff or the family of Judge Juan Merchan. The gag order does not prevent the former president from attacking Merchan or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D).

Last week, Trump asked New York’s highest court to intervene in his fight against the gag order, just one day after a lower court upheld it.

Merchan has found Trump violated his gag order 10 times since it was imposed, ordering him to pay a $1,000 fine per violation and warning that future violations could carry jail time.

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