Trump Criticizes Gag Order, Room Temperature in NY Criminal Trial

Former President Trump faces contentious start to criminal trial in NY, clashes with judge over gag order and social media posts, as key witness Pecker testifies about "catch and kill" tactics to protect Trump in 2016.

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Trump Criticizes Gag Order, Room Temperature in NY Criminal Trial

Trump Criticizes Gag Order, Room Temperature in NY Criminal Trial

Former President Donald Trump faced a contentious first day in his criminal trial proceedings in New York on Tuesday, as he criticized the gag order imposed on him and complained about the room temperature in the courtroom. Trump called the gag order 'unconstitutional' and said he is "not allowed to defend myself" while others can "say whatever they want about me."

The trial, which centers on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, went into recess at 2 PM ET due to Passover. Key testimony was provided by David Pecker, the former CEO of the National Enquirer, who discussed how the tabloid paid to 'catch and kill' stories about Trump's alleged affairs, including with former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Prosecutors accused Trump of violating the gag order by attacking witnesses, jurors, and others involved in the case on his Truth Social platform. They have asked the judge, Juan Merchan, to fine Trump $1,000 for each of the 10 posts they say violated the order. Trump's defense lawyer argued that he was simply responding to others' comments as part of protected speech, but the judge expressed frustration with the Trump team, saying they were losing credibility.

The hearing on the gag order violation is set to take place on Tuesday, with the judge potentially imposing fines or other sanctions on Trump. This comes as Trump has routinely posted on Truth Social to criticize the case and the people involved, despite the judge's warnings. Prosecutors allege the hush money payments were part of a broader scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election by suppressing negative stories about Trump.

Why this matters: The criminal trial of a former U.S. president is an unprecedented event with significant implications for American politics and the rule of law. The outcome could impact Trump's political future and his 2024 presidential campaign.

As the trial continues, Trump faces mounting legal pressure over the alleged hush money scheme. Pecker's testimony about the 'catch and kill' tactics employed by the National Enquirer to protect Trump during the 2016 campaign could prove pivotal. Meanwhile, the ongoing dispute over Trump's social media posts and potential violations of the gag order adds another layer of drama to the high-stakes proceedings.

Key Takeaways

  • Trump faces criminal trial in NY over hush money payments, criticizes gag order
  • Testimony from ex-Enquirer CEO Pecker details 'catch and kill' tactics to protect Trump
  • Prosecutors accuse Trump of violating gag order, seek $1,000 fine per social post
  • Judge expresses frustration with Trump team, says they are losing credibility
  • Trial has significant implications for Trump's political future and 2024 campaign