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Trump tests gag order by sharing articles on judge’s family

Former President Trump shared articles critical of Judge Juan Merchan and his family on Wednesday, appearing to test the bounds of the gag order placed on Trump in his New York hush money case.

Merchan expanded the gag order Monday to prevent Trump from discussing his family, after the former president made comments critical of Merchan’s daughter Loren. Trump was already barred from speaking about court employees and witnesses in the case.

It is the third such gag order amid Trump’s mounting legal battles.

Trump shared three articles from conservative news sites Thursday in a string of Truth Social posts that included similar attacks on Merchan’s family, accusing the judge of political bias against the former president.

Two of the articles were by conservative activist Laura Loomer, who claimed that Merchan was biased because of his wife and daughter’s legal work with organizations connected to Democratic politics. 

A third article, by conservative commentator Gregg Jarrett, made less salacious claims against Merchan’s family, but derided his decision to place and expand the gag order, arguing the judge “harbors a contempt for the rule of law that is sadly typical these days of liberal jurists.”

Trump did not add comment to the stories, only sharing the links in Truth Social posts. It is unclear if the posts violate the judge’s order, because Trump did not make the statements himself.

The former president has been outspoken and critical of the gag order, calling on Merchan to recuse himself from the case and for his charges to be thrown out.

“I just was informed that another corrupt New York Judge, Juan Merchan, GAGGED me so that I can not talk about the corruption and conflicts taking place in his courtroom with respect to a case that everyone, including the D.A., felt should never have been brought,” he wrote Tuesday in a Truth Social post. “They can talk about me, but I can’t talk about them???”

Trump is facing 34 felony counts over claims that he falsified business records in attempts to cover up hush money payments made to hide an alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the closing weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.

The case goes to trial April 15, making it the first time a former president stands trial on criminal charges.

Truth Puke has reached out to the Manhattan district attorney’s office and Trump’s legal team for comment.

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