Trump Says He’d Go To Jail to Protect Free Speech – ‘I’ll Do That Sacrifice’

Presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump says he is willing to “sacrifice” in defense of free speech, even if it means going to jail. Trump’s remarks come amid his unprecedented criminal trial, where he is currently under gag order by a Manhattan judge.

Trump has frequently been held in contempt of court and fined for breaking the gag order, which he has slammed as “unconstitutional” throughout the trial. The order prohibits Trump from making public statements about witnesses, counsel, or court staff involved in the case. But he indicated this week that he was undeterred, even as Judge Juan Merchan now threatens him with jail time.

“The judge is so happy about two to three more weeks because all they want is to keep me off the campaign trail. That’s all this is about,” the former President said following Monday’s court proceedings. Trump criticized the prosecutors for requesting “two to three more weeks” to present their case before turning his attention to Judge Merchan.

“And have the other thing that maybe is even more disgraceful is the gag order, where I can’t, basically, I have to watch every word I tell you people. You ask me a question, a simple question, I’d like to give it but I can’t talk about it because this judge is giving me a gag order and says you’ll go to jail if you violate it. And frankly, you know what? Our Constitution is much more important than jail. It’s not even close.”

“I’ll do that sacrifice any day,” Trump told his supporters.

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Trump was found in contempt of court for the tenth time Monday, totaling $10,000 in fines since the start of the trial. Judge Merchan indicated that he would consider “incarceration” as a punishment for future gag order violations. The judge’s order read:

THEREFORE, Defendant is hereby put on notice that if appropriate and warranted, future violations of its lawful orders will be punishable by incarceration;

and it is hereby ORDERED, that Defendant pay a $1,000 fine for his violation of this Court’s lawful order by the close of business on Friday, May 10, 2024;

and it is further ORDERED that if the offending statement has been posted to Defendant’s Truth Social account or his official campaign website, it is to be removed by 2:15 pm Monday, May 6, 2024.

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“The magnitude of this decision is not lost on me, but at the end of the day, I have a job to do,” Merchan said during Monday’s proceedings. So, as much as I don’t want to impose a jail sanction…I want you to understand that I will if necessary and appropriate.”

Monday began the fourth week of the trial. If prosecutors are granted another two to three weeks to present their case, the former President could be kept off the campaign trail for more than a month.

Trump faces 34 counts relating to falsifying business records. He is pleading not guilty to all of them.

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