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Tags: donald trump | trial | freedom | speech | primary

Trump Blasts Violation of Free Speech, Trial Date

By    |   Tuesday, 23 May 2023 04:31 PM EDT

Former President Donald Trump blasted the New York court's speech restrictions on him for a trial that will come during the height of the 2024 GOP presidential primary in March.

"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," Trump wrote Tuesday on Truth Social. "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!"

Trump, appearing by video conference, threw up his hands in frustration Tuesday as New York Judge Juan Manuel Merchan scheduled his criminal trial for March 25.

Trump "glowered at the camera," according to The Associated Press, as Merchan advised him to cancel all other obligations for the duration of the trial, which could last for several weeks.

Trump, wearing a blue suit against a backdrop of American flags at his Florida estate, then turned to a lawyer by his side — their brief discussion inaudible on the video feed — before sitting with his arms folded for the remainder of the hearing.

Trump pleaded not guilty last month to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records at his family company, the Trump Organization.

Trump has made the New York case and the long list of other investigations he faces central to his campaign to reclaim the White House, portraying himself as the victim of a coordinated effort to sully his chances. Trump often discusses the cases at his rallies and in other speeches, and has repeatedly attacked prosecutors and judges by name.

At Tuesday's hearing, Merchan reviewed an order barring Trump from publicly disseminating certain evidence turned over by prosecutors.

Trump is allowed to speak publicly about the criminal case, according to Merchan's order, but risks being held in contempt if he uses evidence turned over by prosecutors in the pretrial discovery process to target witnesses or others involved in the case.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to payments his company made to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Merchan's protective order bars Trump and his lawyers from disseminating evidence to third parties or posting it to social media, and it requires that certain sensitive material shared by prosecutors be kept only by Trump's lawyers, not Trump.

Trump's lawyers are seeking to have his criminal case moved to federal court. It will continue in state court while that plays out.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Former President Donald Trump blasted the New York court's speech restrictions on him for a trial that will come during the height of the 2024 GOP presidential primary in March.
donald trump, trial, freedom, speech, primary
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2023-31-23
Tuesday, 23 May 2023 04:31 PM
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