We knew Donald Trump wasn’t happy about his prosecution in New York. But on Tuesday he was downright furious. We hear his little hands were absolutely shaking!
The former (and possibly future?) President appeared via Zoom in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday morning as a judge set a 2024 trial date for the 76-year-old. This is the infamous trial, as Perezcious readers will recall, in which Trump is facing criminal charges for his alleged “hush money” payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and others — but mostly the illegal cover-up of them. You know, the thing his underling Michael Cohen already did time for?
On Tuesday morning, New York State court judge Juan Merchan ordered the Apprentice alum to cancel all his plans for the week beginning March 25, 2024, because that’s when this trial is set to take place! Seems reasonable enough, right? That’s, like, ten months out. Plenty of time to prepare. He doesn’t even have to stay in jail the whole time. However, it’s right in the middle of primary season, in which Trump will presumably face off against Florida governor Ron DeSantis for the GOP nomination.
Trump was NOT happy with Judge Merchan’s ruling! MSNBC reported he waved his hands as if to say NO when told to clear his calendar the week of the trial. Per DailyMail.com, the former President “scowled into the camera” as he heard the judge order the date. The outlet reports Trump was “visibly irritated” amid the forceful ruling, and then got angry again after Judge Merchan put a protective order in place for the case.
Now, this protective order is not a full gag order. Trump is allowed to talk about the case in the media and on the campaign trail; he just can’t share any pre-trial evidence obtained by his defense team with the public. That seems like another totally reasonable and simple request, but Trump was SO mad about it!! As we know from the E. Jean Carroll case, he loves trying his case on social media — and offering no defense at all in court.
In addition to Trump’s scowl (doesn’t his face always look like that tho?), the New York native’s attorney Todd Blanche did his damnedest to get Judge Merchan to change his mind. Speaking on the record via that Zoom call, Blanche said of his client:
“President Trump is running for President of the United States and is the leading contender. He is very much concerned that his 1st Amendment rights are being violated.”
Judge Merchan pushed back on that, saying the court’s demand was “certainly not a gag order.” The judge also confirmed that Trump is free to run for President, campaign as normal, and go about his business so long as he doesn’t violate the very specific terms of the protective order in this case:
“It’s certainly not a gag order and it’s not my intention to impede Mr. Trump to campaign for president. He is free to campaign. He’s free to do just about anything that does not violate the terms of this protective order.”
All he has to do is not reveal and comment on evidence — things like emails, testimony, etc. — and he’ll avoid consequences like being held in contempt. That was good enough for Blanche. Say what you will about the lawyer’s choice in client, but when Judge Merchan explained the reasoning behind the protective order and outlined why it’s not a gag order, Blanche replied:
“He [Trump] understands that he has to comply with the order, and if he doesn’t do so, he’s violating your order.”
All good, then, right?
Hours after the hearing, Trump let his real, uncensored reaction to the whole situation be known. The embattled former Celebrity Apprentice host went on his site Truth Social and complained about how it was “very unfair” that the judge had so boldly “violated” his First Amendment rights:
“Just had New York County Supreme Court hearing where I believe my First Amendment Rights, ‘Freedom of Speech,’ have been violated, and they forced upon us a trial date of March 25th, right in the middle of Primary season. Very unfair, but this is exactly what the Radical Left Democrats wanted. It’s called ELECTION INTERFERENCE, and nothing like this has ever happened in our Country before!!!”
He’s actually being forced to face the legal consequences of his actions for once, and suddenly it’s “election interference.” Here’s the thing though — ANY trial date he got was going to be in the middle of some aspect of the campaign. You know what? Facing criminal charges is incredibly inconvenient for a presidential candidate! One more reason people facing multiple criminal investigations maybe SHOULDN’T BE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!
But no matter how many Truth Social posts pop up, Judge Merchan’s March 25, 2024 is firm. Deal with it, Donald!
Here’s more on Trump’s Tuesday morning court appearance (below):
Reactions, Perezcious readers??? Share ’em down in the comments (below)!
[Image via DJDM/WENN]