Trump: ‘I’d be very proud to go to jail’ over gag order

Former President Trump said Friday he would be “very proud” to go to jail over violating his gag order imposed by a New York judge in his hush money case.

“If anything is mentioned against certain people, and you know who they are, certain people, anything’s even mentioned, he wants to put me in jail,” Trump said after court broke for the day.

“And that could happen one day,” he added. “And I’d be very proud to go to jail for our Constitution. Because what he’s doing is so unconstitutional.”

Judge Juan Merchan on Monday found Trump violated a gag order for a 10th time and ordered him to pay $1,000 for attacking jurors in his hush money criminal trial, just days after the judge ruled on an earlier set of gag order violations.

Merchan warned Trump that future violations could be punishable by incarceration.

Merchan told Trump, the “last thing I want to do is put you in jail,” but “at the end of the day, I have a job to do.”

The gag order bars Trump from attacking witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, court staff and the judge’s family. It doesn’t bar him from going after the judge or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D), something Trump does almost daily.

Trump has lambasted the restrictions, asserting they violate his First Amendment rights to respond to political attacks, something he should be entitled to do as the presumptive Republican nominee for president in November’s election.

On Friday, he complained that the gag order restricts what he can say but that others, such as his former attorney and key witness Michael Cohen, don’t face any limits.

But Merchan on Friday directed Manhattan prosecutors to inform Cohen, their star witness, to stop speaking publicly about the case as his testimony approaches.

Trump’s lawyers have repeatedly criticized Cohen’s public attacks on Trump, given that the former president’s ability to respond is limited under the terms of his gag order. Todd Blanche, Trump’s attorney, asked that Cohen be prohibited from talking “in the same way President Trump is” restricted.

“I will direct the People to communicate to Mr. Cohen that the judge is asking him to refrain from any more statements about this case,” Merchan said from the bench.

Trump responded to that action:

“There is no gag order to Michael Cohen. What the judge did was amazing, actually. Was amazing. Everybody can say whatever they want. But I’m not allowed to say anything about anybody. It’s a disgrace.

“What he just did now was a joke. It’s a disgrace.”

Zach Schonfeld contributed.

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