New York’s High Court Keeps Trump’s Muzzle In Place

Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump will have to keep holding his tongue until his criminal sentencing next month in New York, now that the state’s highest court has rejected his attempts to remove a gag order that has kept him from attacking government employees, prosecutors, and witnesses during his recent criminal trial.

The New York Court of Appeals, the awkwardly named institution that serves as the ultimate legal authority in the state, made its decision clear in a document published Tuesday.

In March, New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan issued an order shortly before trial forbidding Trump from flexing his political power by making public statements meant to incite his MAGA followers and intimidate those involved in the court case. (Trump would ultimately violate that order 10 times during the trial, racking up $10,000 in fines that he promptly paid.)

Trump tried to fight the gag order by suing the judge directly, a measure that failed at the appellate level, where judges noted that a federal court had recently thought it wise to muzzle Trump as well. Judges wrote that “Justice Merchan properly determined that petitioner’s public statements posed a significant threat to the integrity of the testimony of witnesses and potential witnesses in this case as well.”

Trump appealed that decision as well, but his latest bid failed. The high court on Tuesday dismissed the entire case “upon the ground that no substantial constitutional question is directly involved.”

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