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Trump is using a loophole in his new gag order to rage against his hush-money judge's progressive daughter

A court sketch showing Donald Trump at a pretrial hearing in Manhattan.
Donald Trump is flanked by attorneys Emil Bove and Susan Necheles at Monday's pretrial hearing in his Manhattan hush money case.Jane Rosenberg/Insider
  • Trump's new hush-money gag order bars statements against witnesses, jurors, and "court staff."

  • It does not bar statements against the judge or his daughter.

  • Trump and some MAGA faithful have raged against both in the day since the gag was issued on Tuesday.

A gag order issued Tuesday in the New York hush money case bars Donald Trump from popping off against witnesses, jurors, and "court staff" — but it makes no mention of the judge and members of his family, who remain fair game.

Trump wasted little time exploiting that loophole Wednesday, when he used his Truth Social account to take aim at both state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan and the judge's progressive daughter, Loren Merchan.

The daughter is a Democratic political consultant whose social media has been critical of Trump, including during his administration, when she condemned his family-separation border policy on an account that has since been made private.

Loren Merchan "represents Crooked Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Adam 'Shifty' Schiff, and other Radical Liberals," and "has just posted a picture of me behind bars, her obvious goal," the GOP frontrunner complained in his Truth Social post on Wednesday morning.

The judge's daughter helps run the Chicago-based, progressive political consulting firm Authentic Campaigns, which has worked on campaigns for key Trump rivals, including Biden, Harris, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

But the Loren Merchan "post" Trump referred to — purportedly depicting Trump behind bars — was actually a hoax, a spokesman for the New York state court system said Wednesday night.

"The X, formerly Twitter, account being attributed to Judge Merchan's daughter no longer belongs to her since she deleted it approximately a year ago," said the spokesman, Al Baker.

"It is not linked to her email address, nor has she posted under that screen name since she deleted the account. Rather, it represents the reconstitution, last April, and manipulation of an account she long ago abandoned," Baker said in a press statement.

Loren Merchan has no known role in the hush money trial her father will preside over, which is set to begin picking a jury on April 15.

But she remains a repeat target of Trump's ire.

Last August, Trump's lawyers demanded the judge recuse himself from the case in part because of his daughter's political affiliations. The judge declined.

On Tuesday morning, Trump "truthed" that the judge is a "certified Trump Hater" whose daughter is a "senior executive at a Super Liberal Democrat firm."

Merchan's gag order was made public just four hours later.

Then, Tuesday night, far-right activist Laura Loomer claimed on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Loren Merchan's X profile picture was an image of Trump's face, "behind bars in a jail cell."

Loomer's post included a screenshot of a profile page showing the Trump-behind-bars image and an X account name that matches an account mentioned on Authentic Campaign's website in connection with Loren Merchan.

"Maybe the Judge is such a hater because his daughter makes money by working to "Get Trump," and when he rules against me over and over again, he is making her company, and her, richer and richer," Trump raged on Wednesday. "How can this be allowed?"

A request for comment from Loren Merchan was not immediately responded to. A lawyer for Trump declined to comment.

The hush-money gag order also bars Trump from making statements about "the District Attorney's staff" or relatives of those staff members.

It does not bar him from commenting on the DA himself, Alvin Bragg, whose hush-money prosecution is the first criminal case against Trump to go to trial. Nor does it bar statements against Bragg's family members.

Bragg, too, has been the target of Trump's vitriol, as has his wife. Soon after a grand jury indicted him on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, Trump posted to Truth that Bragg should "INDICT HIMSELF."

Trump also said the DA "will go down in Judicial history, and his Trump Hating wife will be, I am sure, very proud of him!"

A spokeswoman for Bragg declined to comment on Trump's attacks on the judge and his daughter. A spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story was updated to include the court spokesman's assertion that the X account Trump criticized is a hoax account.

Read the original article on Business Insider