Judge Merchan cracks down on Donald Trump for misbehavior


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Even after Donald Trump posted a conspiracy theory about unnamed jurors last night, Judge Merchan still opted not to move up the date of next week’s hearing about Trump’s gag order violations. It seems Merchan intends to let Trump continue to hang himself with such posts, so that he can deliver an appropriately severe punishment at the hearing. But in the meantime, Merchan did crack down on Trump in a different way.

When prosecutors inquired about a certain aspect of witness testimony, Trump’s lawyers demanded advance information about those witnesses. But prosecutors argued that Trump is no longer entitled to such things because he’s been making social media posts about witnesses, and the judge agreed.

So now Trump and his legal team won’t have access to what they consider an important piece of information about witness testimony, specifically because Trump violated his gag order with regard to witnesses. These kinds of consequences can end up doing more harm to a misbehaving defendant than anything else, because it can increase the odds of conviction. As for Trump’s specific punishment for his gag order violations, that’ll have to wait until next week.

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