On Saturday, April 20, 2024, The Hill reported that former White House ethics lawyer Jim Schultz believes the judge in Donald Trump’s criminal hush money case will rule that the former president violated a gag order with recent social media posts.

Schultz, who worked in the Trump administration, commented on the case while appearing on CNN. He noted that while Trump was merely quoting others in his posts, the gag order applies directly to the former president. Schultz predicted the judge will view the posts as breaching the order not to discuss the jurors or case publicly.

Though the judge could fine or reprimand Trump, Schultz said jail time was unlikely. He acknowledged the trial will continue and Trump will likely keep commenting on his Truth Social platform.

Trump’s posts in question referenced comments made by Fox News host Jesse Waters suggesting liberal activists were trying to get selected for the jury. Legal experts including CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin argued the post appeared aimed at intimidating jurors and violated the explicit terms of the gag order.

Toobin pointed out that as a criminal defendant, Trump has fewer free speech rights than ordinary citizens and is not permitted to interfere in the legal process, especially when under a gag order concerning juror discussions.

The trial unfolding in a Manhattan courtroom marks the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president. Trump is accused of falsifying records to cover up a 2016 hush money payment to an adult film star regarding an alleged past affair. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.



Source: The Hill