Trump attacks judge on Truth Social moments after gag order hearing where lawyers defended his posts

Donald Trump launched a fresh attack on the judge in his New York hush money trial on Truth Social on Tuesday morning – moments after his attorneys were forced to defend his posts in a hearing to determine whether he had violated the gag order in the case.

Before trial testimony resumed on Tuesday, New York Justice Juan Merchan heard arguments from the prosecution and the defence about the former president’s Truth Social posts.

Manhattan prosecutors have accused Mr Trump of violating a trial gag order at least 10 times in online attacks against potential witnesses Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels. The gag order prohibits any statements about witnesses, jurors, lawyers, court staff and their families, “made with the intent to materially interfere” with any work in the case but does not include prosecutors or the judge.

On the trial’s first day, Mr Trump’s Truth Social account posted – seemingly while he was inside the courtroom – about Cohen and Ms Daniels, calling them “two sleaze bags who have, with their lies and misrepresentations, cost our Country dearly!”

On Tuesday, Judge Merchan told the two sides that he would make a decision on the matter at a later date.

Despite the looming threat of a potential $10,000 fine, Mr Trump lashed out at the judge moments after leaving the courtroom.

At 10.57am ET, shortly after the gag order hearing ended, his Truth Social account fired off a new post railing against the judge and his “kangaroo court”.

“Every single Legal Scholar and Expert said that Soros backed prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, has ‘no case,’” he posted.

Mr Trump continued: “SO WHY WON’T THEY DROP THIS CASE? Alvin Bragg never wanted to bring it - thought it was a joke. Was furious at lawyer MARK POMERANTZ (will he be prosecuted?) for what he did!”

Three minutes later, the former president blasted in his signature all-caps style: “HIGHLY CONFLICTED, TO PUT IT MILDLY, JUDGE JUAN MERCHAN, HAS TAKEN AWAY MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.”


The judge has not yet reacted to the criminal defendant’s most recent Truth Social posts.

In the gag order hearing, Assistant District Attorney Christopher Conroy accused Mr Trump of “knowingly and willfully breaching the crystal clear, unequivocal lines drawn up by the court”.

Donald Trump returns to Manhattan criminal court during his hush money trial on Tuesday (Getty Images)
Donald Trump returns to Manhattan criminal court during his hush money trial on Tuesday (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, defence attorney Todd Blanche argued that there was “absolutely no willful violation” of the gag order in the offending posts.

“The witnesses themselves can constantly comment on whatever they want ... and Trump, in theory, cannot respond,” Mr Blanche argued.

He added that his client was responding to a “barrage” of political attacks but failed to cite the posts that Mr Trump was allegedly reacting to.

“I’ve asked you eight or nine times to show me the exact post and you’ve not been able to show me even once,” the judge told him.

“You’re losing all credibility, I’ll tell you that right now,” he later added.

Mr Trump is facing 34 counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to Ms Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Mr Trump in 2006 — when he was married to Melania.

Mr Trump has denied any wrongdoing and denies the affair took place.

The former president made history on 15 April when he became the first former or sitting president to stand criminal trial.