Trump Piles on Hush-Money Judge After Jail Time Warning

Donald Trump, a day after being warned about potential jail time if he continues to violate the gag order in his criminal trial in New York, lashed out at the judge presiding over that case as “crooked.”

“There is no crime. I have a crooked judge. He’s a totally conflicted judge,” Trump told his supporters at a Wisconsin rally Wednesday—his weekly day off from the trial, where prosecutors allege the former president broke state laws governing business records and federal campaign finance law after covering up a hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

The trial, he added, is “unfortunately” a “95 percent or so Democrat area.”

Trump has consistently lashed out at Merchan and other officials involved in his four criminal cases. Last month, he labeled the judge “crooked” after Merchan expanded his gag order in the case. “Crooked Judge Juan Merchan is not allowing me to talk, is taking away my First Amendment Rights, he’s got me GAGGED, because he doesn’t want the FACTS behind the Gag to come out,” Trump claimed in a Truth Social post.

Later on Wednesday, during a rally in Freeland, Michigan, Trump complained about the “kangaroo court room,” and repeated unproven allegations that the Biden administration is behind a secret plot to bury him.

“I’ve got to do two of these things a day. You know why? Because I’m in New York all the time with the Biden trial,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “It’s a fake trial. They do it to try and take your powers away—try and take your candidate away.”

While the gag order allows Trump to criticize Judge Juan Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, it forbids him from talking about jurors, prosecutors, court staff, and potential or actual witnesses. Merchan’s and Bragg’s families are also off limits.

On Tuesday, Merchan found Trump to be in contempt of court for social media posts and statements doing just that, and fined him $1,000 for each of the nine violations. Merchan noted that “an incarceratory punishment” is an option if Trump continues to flout the order.

Trump, who has claimed it would be a “great honor” to go to jail, has oddly compared himself to South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela if that should happen.

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