Trump and His Team Are Already Lying About What Happened in Court

Donald Trump’s first criminal trial promises to be one of the most heavily reported legal affairs in American history, but the former president and his defense team already think they can get away with lying about what’s happening in the courtroom.

After leaving court on Monday following the first day of jury selection, Trump repeatedly claimed that Judge Juan Merchan had barred him from attending the high school graduation ceremony of his youngest son, Barron Trump, in May.

“It looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation of my son,” Trump told reporters as he exited court on Monday.

The former president later wrote on Truth Social that Merchan had “prohibited [me] from attending my son Barron’s High School Graduation.”

“Who will explain for me, to my wonderful son, Barron, who is a GREAT Student at a fantastic School, that his Dad will likely not be allowed to attend his Graduation Ceremony, something that we have been talking about for years, because a seriously Conflicted and Corrupt New York State Judge wants me in Criminal Court on a bogus ‘Biden Case,’” Trump wrote in a separate post, adding, “The Judge, Juan Merchan, is preventing me from proudly attending my son’s Graduation. Seems very unfair, doesn’t it?”

Merchan has not prevented Trump from attending his son’s graduation. In fact, when asked if Trump could be excused from court on Friday to attend the event, the judge stated that it was too early to rule on the matter but that if the trial proceeded as planned, he would be open to excusing the defendant. He did, however, bar Trump from skipping trial dates to attend oral arguments on his bid to establish widespread presidential immunity from criminal prosecution, which are scheduled for next week.

As per usual, the actual events that took place in court have had little bearing on how Trump’s supporters reacted to his claims. Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, repeated the accusation that Merchan barred Trump from attending the graduation during an appearance on Fox News’ Hannity. Habba also boosted false claims that Merchan had effectively banned observant Jews from serving on the former president’s jury.

Trump’s elder sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., called Merchan “truly heartless” and “pure evil” for allegedly preventing their father from attending the graduation. The false claim was heavily promoted by several other right-wing media figures, including Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, clickbait influencer Benny Johnson, and Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld, who claimed Merchan had threatened Trump with arrest if he attended the graduation.

Merchan made no such threat regarding Barron’s commencement. He did, however, read Trump his Parker Warning — which advises defendants of their rights and responsibilities within a criminal trial. Trump was required to affirm that he understood he could be subject to arrest if he was overly disruptive in court, or failed to appear at the trial absent an authorization from the judge.

“If you do not show up, there will be an arrest,” Merchan said.

Trump is theoretically barred from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, court staff, and jurors involved in the case via a gag order implemented by Merchan after the former president repeatedly attacked the judge and his family in retaliation for not getting his way in pretrial motions.

“This conflicted, Trump Hating Judge won’t let me respond to people that are on TV lying and spewing hate all day long,” Trump wrote Tuesday morning on Truth Social. “I want to speak, or at least be able to respond. Election Interference! RIGGED, UNCONSTITUTIONAL TRIAL! Take off the Gag Order!!!”

But for all his complaining about being silenced, the former president seems to be as loud as ever.

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