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Friday, April 12, 2024

Legal Scholar Predicts Trump Gag Orders Will Cause ‘Major Constitutional Problem’

'This is nothing we've ever seen before...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) A legal scholar rebuked a new gag order imposed against former President Donald Trump in the Manhattan hush-money trial, stating that it creates a “perversity” during an election season and poses a “major constitutional problem.” 

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, minced no words in his assessment of Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan’s gag order against Trump. The order, issued on Tuesday, restricts the former president’s ability to publicly respond to claims raised by prosecutors. 

Speaking to Fox News’s Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday, Turley expressed his concerns about Merchan’s order, highlighting its “perversity” as other individuals tied to the case, including Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels, are freely allowed to criticize Trump on cable news while he is unable to respond.

“This election is going to turn in significant part on the weaponization of the legal system,” Turley warned. “And Trump’s winning on this narrative. The majority of people do see political influence in these cases. So, these judges are effectively gagging a presidential candidate on one of the chief issues in the presidential election! I think there is major constitutional problems for this.”

During his appearance on Fox News, Turley noted that he has been critical of gag orders for several years. 

“I’ve been a critic of gag orders for decades because I believe they do run afoul of free speech, but this is nothing we’ve ever seen before,” Turley said when asked by Bream on his thoughts on Merchan’s gag order. 

Turley’s remarks come as Trump faces multiple legal battles. In addition to the Manhattan case, Trump faces two federal criminal cases—one involving classified documents and another connected to the events of Jan. 6—as well as a Georgia RICO case stemming from the 2020 election results in the state. 

Trump, who is seeking to return to the White House in January 2025, argues that these legal actions represent a concerted effort to obstruct his political aspirations. 

Special Counsel Jack Smith, appointed by Democratic Attorney General Merrick Garland, prosecutes the federal cases. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, also a Democrat, leads the Georgia case. In Manhattan, District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a left-leaning prosecutor with backing from Soros, handles the hush money trial.

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