US court snubs Donald Trump's gag order appeal

Former president's legal team vows to keep fighting against "unconstitutional Gag Order" which threatens Trumps freedom of speech

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Web Desk
Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attends his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 30, 2024. — AFP/File

In a major setback for Donald Trump, New York’s highest court has refused to hear the former president's gag order appeal in his hush money trial, CNN reported.

The gag order issued by judge Juan Merchan remains intact after the Court of Appeals found that the order does not raise "substantial" constitutional issues that would require immediate legal action to be taken.

The Republican candidate was last month found guilty on 34 felony counts pertaining to the hidden payments made to adult star Stormy Daniels to keep their affair a secret before the 2016 US elections.

In response to the court order, Trump's campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, has vowed to "continue to fight against the unconstitutional Gag Order imposed by Justice Merchan".

The gag order appeal was filed in the high court in May by Trump's legal team on the basis that the order restricted Trump's "core political speech on matters of central importance at the height of his presidential campaign".

Just before Trump’s trial began in March, Merchan had accepted prosecutors’ request for a gag order that precluded Trump from making public comments about any person related to the case, except the judge or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

However, Trump repeatedly violated the gag order and was even fined $10,000.

According to court spokesperson Gary Spencer, Trump's team now has 30 days to file a motion for leave to appeal.