Former White House ethics lawyer: Judge will find Trump posts in violation of gag order

Former White House ethics lawyer: Judge will find Trump posts in violation of gag order

Former White House ethics lawyer Jim Schultz said he thinks the New York judge in former President Trump’s hush money case will still find his social media posts quoting others as violating the gag order in the case.

“He’s referencing the jurors. He’s pushing out something that someone else said,” Schultz, who served under the Trump administration, told “CNN News Central” anchor Sara Sidner on Thursday. “But the bottom line is, it applies to him, right?”

“So, I think the judge is gonna see this as a violation of the gag order, and get ready, they’re gonna continue and continue and continue,” Schultz said. “Sure, the judge can fine him, he could admonish him. He could do a lot of things in the courtroom. He’s not gonna throw him in jail.”

“This trial’s still gonna continue,” Schultz added. “And you’re still gonna hear from Donald Trump on Truth Social.”

Schultz’s remarks come after Trump took an indirect swing at prospective jurors in the case Wednesday, quoting Fox News host Jesse Watters. The former president, under the expanded gag order, is prohibited from “making or directing others to make public statements about any prospective juror or any juror in this criminal proceeding.”

In his post, Trump quoted Watters saying: “They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury.”

Schultz wasn’t the first legal expert to question whether the move would be considered a violation of the order. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin made the same inference earlier this week.

“I think it’s false, but more importantly, it’s clearly, I think, an attempt to intimidate jurors,” Toobin said. “And it is clearly barred by the gag order in this case.”

“Donald Trump doesn’t seem to realize he is now a criminal defendant, and criminal defendants have different and lesser rights than ordinary citizens,” Toobin continued. “They are not allowed to interfere in the trial process — especially when there is a gag order that specifically addresses attempts to intimidate jurors. I mean, it is just not permissible.”

The trial, which began Monday, is the first criminal trial of a sitting or former president in U.S. history. Jury selection was completed Friday, and the trial will continue next week.

The case is centered on allegations that Trump falsified business records to conceal a hush money payment made to an adult film star to hide an alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty.

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