Trump Returns to Campaigning on One-Day Break Under Trial Gag Order

One day after Donald Trump was held in contempt of court for violating the gag order in his hush money trial, the former president briefly returned to the campaign trail holding rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan where he once again lashed out at the judge and proclaimed his innocence.

Judge Juan Merchan last Tuesday found that Trump violated the gag order on nine occasions since the start of the trial and ordered him to pay the maximum fine of $1,000 for each.

The violations included comments Trump made in social media posts and recent interviews in which he attacked potential witnesses and the jury.

The judge found that the comments were in direct violation of the terms of the expanded gag order he imposed before the start of the trial.

In his contempt order, the judge warned Trump that if he continued to violate the limits imposed by the gag order, Merchan would have him jailed.

While speaking at a rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin the following day, Trump described Judge Merchan as “a crooked judge” who was “totally conflicted.” He insisted that there was “no crime” and repeated his claim that the cases against him were a plot by the Biden White House to interfere with the presidential election.

At a second rally in Freeland, Michigan, Trump complained that he was unable to campaign because he had to spend his time in a “kangaroo courtroom.” As in his Wisconsin rally, Trump accused the Biden administration of calling the shots, claiming that District Attorney Alvin Bragg was following orders from the White House.

He referred to his trial as “the Biden trial” and “fake trial,” and claimed that the White House was trying to “take your powers away” and “take your candidate away.”

The extended gag order does not prevent Trump from making public comments about the judge or the district attorney. Instead, it bars him from commenting publicly about court staff, potential witnesses, the jury, or the family members of prosecutors or the court.