‘You’re Guilty Until Proven Innocent’: Dr. Phil Tears Into Judge Merchan For ‘Muzzling’ Trump’s Defense

‘One of the big myths is that the burden of proof lies within the prosecution'

The Ghost Of Wisconsin’s Unconstitutional John Doe Investigation Haunts Trump Trials

Several conservatives in Wisconsin went through years of hell during the Badger State’s star chamber aimed at taking down Gov. Scott Walker.

Court Rejects ‘Orchestrated Campaign’ To Remove Judge Cannon From Docs Lawfare Case

Leftists have salivated at the possibility of removing Cannon from the case -- likely in hopes of replacing her with a partisan judge like Juan Merchan, who oversaw Trump's recent show trial in New York.

Jack Smith Requests Gag Order On Trump

'Trump’s conditions of release should therefore be modified to prohibit similar communications going forward'

'Let Trump Speak Act': Republicans introduce bill to block 'weaponized gag orders'

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United States Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) introduced legislation on Thursday that would block judges from issuing "weaponized gag orders," Fox News Digital reported.

The proposed bill, coined the "Let Trump Speak Act," would prohibit federal and state judges from placing gag orders against defendants in "any criminal or civil proceedings." The legislation carves out exceptions, allowing judges to issue the order to prevent "the disclosure of confidential information provided in discovery, to protect the privacy of minors, or as part of a plea agreement."

If passed, the bill would allow anyone issued a gag order in violation of the act to seek injunctive relief.

'There is no right more sacred to Americans than the right to speak freely.'

Ogles unveiled the proposed legislation in response to a gag order issued by Juan Merchan, an acting justice of the New York State Supreme Court, against former President Donald Trump. The restrictive order prevents Trump from speaking about anyone involved in the ongoing New York criminal case in which he is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Michael Cohen, a convicted felon and Trump's former lawyer, alleged that he made a so-called hush-money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair she claims she had with Trump. Cohen claimed the settlement payout was made at the request of Trump, who allegedly paid him back afterward. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied the affair allegation.

Trump's defense team has repeatedly requested that Merchan repeal the gag order, but each request has been rejected.

Ogles, along with several other Republican representatives, joined Trump at court on Thursday to show his support for the former president.

Outside the courthouse, Ogles told reporters, "If I started a story with, 'A convicted felon and a hooker walk into a bar,' you would immediately know it's a joke. Well, that's what we have here: a joke of a trial."

"This is not a prosecution," Ogles continued. "This is a persecution. We have a two-tiered justice system in this country. And if a former president can be targeted by a woke and corrupt judge, then you can be targeted as well."

— (@)

In a post on X, Ogles stated that the Let Trump Speak Act "ends the gag order and pushes back against woke activist judges."

"We have watched for years as a politically weaponized Department of Justice and Democrat activist judges have gone after President Donald J. Trump," he told Fox News Digital. "There is no right more sacred to Americans than the right to speak freely, as guaranteed in the First Amendment."

Ogles argued that "activists within the justice system are attempting to strip President Trump of this right for the sake of their own political agenda."

The Tennessee representative's proposed legislation currently has 10 Republican sponsors in the House.

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) stated, "This continued weaponization of justice and harassment of President Trump must end."

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) said, "We have seen how our institutions have gone after President Trump to try and forcibly silence him."

"This vital American value must not be corrupted, especially by those driven by political rivalries," she added.

The First Department of the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division wrote Tuesday that Merchan "properly weighed" Trump's First Amendment Rights when imposing the gag order.

— (@)

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Last Week In Lawfare Land: ‘Vindictive Prosecution’

Here’s the latest information you need to know about each prosecution Democrats are waging against the Republican presidential candidate.

Judge holds Trump in contempt, claims he violated gag order

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On Tuesday morning, acting Justice Juan Merchan held Donald Trump in contempt, claiming he violated his gag order by sharing posts on social media, according to live updates from the courtroom. Trump faces fines of $1,000 for each violation.

Merchan previously placed a gag order on the former president, prohibiting him from making public comments about anyone involved in the trial and their family members. Prior to going to trial, Trump’s legal team made multiple attempts to overturn the restrictive order; all attempts were denied.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) accused Trump of violating the order, referring to 10 social media posts published on Truth Social. In one of the posts, Trump mentions “two sleazebags,” which the prosecution argued referred to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and porn actress Stormy Daniels. Both are expected to testify against Trump in the New York criminal trial.

In a court filing last week, Bragg urged the judge to remind Trump that he could face jail time for violating the gag order. Bragg also requested that the former president be held in contempt and forced to pay $1,000 per post.

During last Tuesday’s trial, prosecutor Chris Conroy claimed that the social media posts “pose[d] a very real threat” to the court’s proceedings by allegedly attacking the witness’ “credibility.”

Merchan and Todd Blanche, Trump’s lawyer, got into a somewhat heated exchange over whether Trump violated the order.

Blanche contended that Trump’s posts had nothing to do with the case and were responses to political attacks from Cohen and Daniels. Trump and his legal team have repeatedly mentioned that neither witness has been prohibited from making disparaging comments about Trump, the case against him, or his political campaign.

“President Trump is allowed to respond to political attacks,” Blanche told Merchan last week.

Merchan demanded Blanche provide specific examples of comments made by Cohen and Daniels that Trump was replying to in his social media posts. Blanche responded to the request by stating the two had made repeated remarks and had recently “ramped up their political attacks and their attacks on him as a candidate as well.”

The judge was reportedly unsatisfied with Blanche’s reply and asked for precise examples again.

“What I do see is I keep asking you over and over again for a specific answer, and I’m not getting an answer,” Merchan told Blanche. “I’ve asked you eight or nine times to show me the exact post he was responding to. You’ve been unable to do that even once.”

Merchan warned Blanche that he was “losing all credibility with the court.”

Blanche maintained that Trump is “being very careful to comply” with Merchan’s order.

Last week, Trump posted on Truth Social, “We have a Rigged Judge, who is working for the Democrat Party and refuses to terminate this ‘case,’ which should have never been brought by Soft on Crime Alvin Bragg. Judge Merchan should [be] immediately removed, and the Appellate Courts have to take over.”

The trial continued Thursday morning, with the prosecution claiming that Trump violated the gag order several more times over the past few days. During a news interview earlier in the week, Trump stated that the jury pool consisted of 95% Democrats. According to the prosecution, these comments also violated the judge’s order.

Additionally, Trump referred to witness and former tabloid publisher David Pecker as “nice” on Thursday morning.

Conroy argued, “This is a message to Pecker. Be nice. It’s a message to others.”

On Tuesday, the judge decided to side with the prosecution, declaring that Trump violated his gag order in multiple instances presented. As a result of Merchan’s latest ruling, Trump will have to pay $1,000 each for nine violations. He was also ordered to remove the “offending posts” from Truth Social, as well as two “offending posts” from his campaign website.

“THEREFORE, Defendant is hereby warned that the Court will not tolerate continued willful violations of its lawful orders and that if necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, it will impose an incarceratory punishment,” Merchan’s order read.

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Levin: The judge's daughter – a political conflict

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The judge in Trump’s Stormy Daniels hush-money case has refused to recuse himself after the former president’s attorneys requested his removal from the bench.

Trump’s legal team has noted that Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter works as a Democrat consultant who has represented politicians like Vice President Kamala Harris and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

Merchan himself is “an elected Democrat hack,” who put a gag order on Trump after the former president brought the judge's daughter into the spotlight on social media.

“Donald Trump did not threaten violence or urge violence against anybody. He’s been very harsh in his criticism, he’s allowed to be,” Mark Levin explains, disagreeing with the judge’s decision.

“Trump points out, and others have now followed up, that this judge’s daughter is a big time radical left-wing Democrat operative who runs a business that raises money, campaign money, for candidates on the Democrat side,” Levin says.

His daughter has reportedly raised millions for Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Rep. Adam Smith (Wash).

“In the course of that fundraising, she has used this case with Alvin Bragg and Donald Trump as a fundraising tool. In other words, referencing it in the fundraising materials,” Levin says.

“The judge is her father. That’s not only an appearance of a conflict, that’s a real live conflict,” he continues. “You’re using information from the trial or will-be trial that your father is overseeing to raise money for Democrats.”

“Have you ever seen anything as sleazy as this?” he asks.

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