Home US Merchan verifies Trump’s claim that he is “not allowed to testify” while under a gag order

Merchan verifies Trump’s claim that he is “not allowed to testify” while under a gag order

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Merchan verifies Trump's claim that he is "not allowed to testify" while under a gag order

Judge Juan Merchan said donald trump Friday morning that he is, in fact, allowed to testify in court while under a gag orderaddressing a false claim Trump made the day before.

“I’m not allowed to testify, I’m under a gag order, I guess, right? I can’t even testify,” the former president told reporters outside the courtroom at his secret trial Thursday as he turned to his attorney, Todd Blanche, who appeared to nod and shake her head at the same time.

Trump added: “I’m not allowed to testify because this judge, who is totally conflicted, has me under an unconstitutional gag order.”

At the beginning of Friday’s court session, Merchan explained to Trump that the gag order “does not prohibit him from taking the stand” and that the order “only applies to extrajudicial statements.”

This is not the first time Trump has shown a lack of knowledge about the criminal trial process. Last month, he suggested that arbitrary limits had been placed on his lawyers. during the jury selection processwhen such limits are based on law.

Earlier this week, Merchan Trump fined $9,000 for repeatedly violating the gag order and warned that jail time is a possibility for future violations, although Manhattan prosecutors said Thursday they are not seeking jail time at this time. (My MSNBC colleague Jordan Rubin has questioned the purpose of a gag order if low-level fines are imposed.) everything prosecutors are willing to look for at the moment.)

Trump has made conflicting statements about whether he will take the stand, which would require him to answer questions under oath before the jury. It’s unclear whether the notoriously verbose defendant will be willing to take that risk.

This article was originally published in MSNBC.com

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