Fact check: Another week, another round of false Trump claims about his trial


Former President Donald Trump continues to make false claims about his impeachment trial in New York.

Trump often speaks in front of media cameras before entering and after leaving the courtroom in Manhattan, where he faces charges of falsifying business records.
He peppered his hallway notes with inaccurate assertions on a variety of topics—most often about the trial itself.

Below is the fact-checking of four false claims and a misleading claim he made about the trial in his comments to the court last week. (And Here is a link To validate his lies in court from the previous week.)

Trump falsely claimed after leaving the courtroom Thursday afternoon that he was not allowed to testify in his own defense, then admitted Friday morning that he was indeed allowed to testify.

Trump card Tell “I’m not allowed to testify,” he told reporters on Thursday. I am under a gag order. I guess, right?” He added: “I’m not allowed to testify, because this judge, completely conflicted, has ordered me an unconstitutional gag order.” He continued to complain that he was “not allowed to speak” even as others attacked him, then said again : “Therefore I am not allowed to testify due to the unconstitutional gag order.”

Facts first: Trump’s claim is false. As he noted the next day, he was allowed to testify at the trial; The decision is entirely up to him. Gag order issued by Judge Juan Merchan, whose speech outside court is strictly restricted, does not in any way prevent him from testifying. The gag order also does not generally prevent Trump from speaking. He is allowed to speak to the media, speak at campaign events, attack President Joe Biden and other political opponents, and even attack Merchan and Manhattan. The prosecutor is behind this case.

Friday morning Trump He told reporters As he entered the courtroom: “No, that will not prevent me from testifying. The gag order is not for testimony.”[ing]. The publication order prevents me from talking about people and responding when they say things about me.” When court proceedings began shortly after, Merchan told Trump that he had an “absolute” right to testify and that a gag order “does not prevent you from taking the stand and does not limit or diminish what you can say.”

Instead, the gag order bars Trump from three specific categories of speech:

1) Speaking publicly or directing others to speak publicly about known or anticipated witnesses, specifically about their involvement in the case;

2) speak publicly or direct others to speak publicly about prosecutors (other than Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg), members of the District Attorney’s staff and court staff, or family members of any such persons including Bragg, if such statements are made with the intent to Intervening in the case;

3) Speaking publicly or directing others to speak publicly about jurors or potential jurors.

Trump did Repeatedly Making the gag order seem much broader than it is. he claimed At a campaign rally Wednesday in Michigan: “I’m not even supposed to say I’m talking to you because he’s an asshole” — even though the gag order doesn’t actually say anything preventing him from giving a campaign speech.

“The defendant has a constitutional right to speak to American voters freely and to defend himself publicly,” Merchan wrote in a gag order.

Trump’s public stance has varied on whether he will testify. After the declaration before the start of the trial Which “I bear witness,” he said He said In a television interview last week, he said he would testify “if necessary.” Thursday was the first time he publicly claimed he was not allowed to testify.

Trump and bail

Trump said: “New York City is a violent city; It’s gotten violent with cashless bail. “I’m the only one who has to pay bail.”

Facts first: Trump’s claim is false. Like many other defendants in New York whose alleged crimes take place Non-violenthe It was not necessary to post bail. After his trial in 2023, he was released on his own recognizance — in other words, without having to post any cash.

Trump had to publish $200,000 bond In his separate case of election subversion in Fulton County, Georgia (Contribute 10% himself and work with a bail bonds company to cover the rest), but his clear suggestion Friday was that he was being treated uniquely harshly in New York. He was released on his own recognizance in two Federalism criminal cases One in Washington, D.C., because of his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, and one in Florida because he kept secret documents after his presidency.

Trump’s assertion that New York City is a “violent city” is subjective. It is worth noting that violent crimes have occurred in the city It has declined over the past two decadeswhich has been the city for a long time Low crime rates compared to many other large and small communities Across the country, the impact of New York State’s bail reforms on recent crime levels in the city is disputed.

On Friday, Trump continued to complain that the New York trial was preventing him from participating in the election campaign. This time, he said: “We were actually ranked – months ago, we were ranked to be in Georgia today, where we’re doing well at the polls, by the way. But this is where we were supposed to be. We’re supposed to be in Ohio tomorrow,” he said. And we’re supposed to be in Florida the next day, campaigning, basically, so now I have to take this experience day by day.

Facts first: Trump’s claim that the trial is preventing him from holding campaign events this weekend is false. The trial is not held on weekends (or Wednesdays), so he was free to campaign wherever he wanted on Saturday and the next day – and he was planning to travel to Florida. Trump was scheduled to go to a closed session The Republican National Committee holds a fundraising luncheon at Mar-a-Lago on SaturdayHe attended the Miami Grand Prix Formula 1 race on Sunday.

There is no clear basis for Trump’s claim that he was supposed to be in Ohio on Saturday; he She plans to visit the country on May 15Another empty Wednesday in court. It is unclear what his campaign has “highlighted” internally, but he has not publicly scheduled a Georgia campaign event on Friday.

Trump card Campaign rallies were held in Wisconsin and Michigan on Wednesdayand had a rally planned in North Carolina the previous Saturday It was canceled due to bad weather. However, he regularly refused to visit swing states or hold public events in his days without a court. Choose instead To host dinners and meetings at Trump Tower in Manhattan or play golf at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Trump and “advice”

Trump complained on Tuesday that Merchan did not allow him to seek advice he claims lawyers gave him. Criminal defendants sometimes useDefense attorney’s advice To try to prove that they did not mean to break the law.

“Here, I’m not even allowed to say ‘advice of counsel.’ “This is new advice to me, advice of counsel,” Trump told reporters outside the courtroom. “When you have a lawyer and the lawyer does something or advises you something, you say ‘advice Lawyer”. He said you shouldn’t say that.

Facts first: Trump’s claim is misleading. He did not mention that the reason Merchan did not allow Trump’s legal team to invoke “advice of counsel” during the trial was because when Trump was asked before the trial whether he would use the “advice of counsel” defense, a female lawyer He told Merchan he wouldn’t do it.

The “advice of counsel” defense. Typically requires the defendant to waive attorney-client privilege. Trump’s lawyers told Merchan before the trial that instead of the “formal” defense of “advice of counsel,” Trump wanted to use a different defense in which he would not waive attorney-client privilege, but would do so. Still “Extract evidence relating to the attendance, participation and advice of counsel in the relevant events leading to the charges in the indictment.”

Merchan rejected this proposal. he Written in March: “Allowing the stated defense in this matter would effectively allow the defendant to invoke the very defense he declared he would not rely on, without the attendant obligations that come with it. The result would undoubtedly be to confuse and mislead the jury. This court cannot countenance such a tactic “.

Therefore, Merchan ruled that Trump could not invoke or even suggest a defense of “the presence of counsel” at the trial.

Biden and the issue

Trump continued to declare that Biden was the one who masterminded the case. “They made me sit here for Biden’s trial,” he said as he left court on Tuesday. “It’s Biden’s trial.”

Facts first: There is no basis for Trump’s claims. There is no evidence that Biden had any role in launching or running Bragg’s trial — and Bragg is a locally elected official who does not report to the federal government. the Indictment The case was approved by a grand jury of ordinary citizens.

Trump did She was called over and over again Team Bragg’s lawyer, Matthew Colangelo, while making such claims; Colangelo left the Justice Department in 2022 To join the District Attorney’s Office like Prague’s chief advisor. But there is no evidence that Biden had anything to do with the decision to hire Colangelo. Colangelo and Bragg were colleagues before Bragg was elected Manhattan District Attorney in 2021.

Before Colangelo worked at the Department of Justice, he and Bragg simultaneously worked at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where Colangelo was Investigation into Trump’s charitable foundation And Trump’s financial practices Participation in filing various lawsuits Against the Trump administration.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Christine Holmes contributed to this article.

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