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Trump shares false claims about hush-money judge’s daughter in possible violation of gag order


A newly expanded gag order in Donald Trump’s New York hush-money case has barred him since Monday from attacking family members of his judge — but that didn’t stop him from posting links that attacked the judge’s wife and daughter on Wednesday night.

Trump posted links from the website of far-right activist Laura Loomer, who criticized New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan and both family members.

Loomer’s posts accused the judge’s family of “anti-Trump bias” due to the daughter’s consultant work on Democratic campaigns. Loomer also said that Merchan’s wife worked for New York Attorney General Letitia James, a claim Business Insider could not confirm on Wednesday night.

Wednesday night’s post repeats Loomer’s false claim that Merchan’s daughter had posted online an illustration of Trump behind bars. A spokesman for the New York state court system has said that the illustration came from a hoax account with no connection to Merchan’s daughter.

Trump’s gag order bars him from making statements about “family members of any counsel, staff member, the Court or the District Attorney” if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with the case.

Prior to Wednesday night, Trump had refrained from new online posts attacking the judge’s family members.

But he failed to take down “Truths” from March 27 that had accused Merchan’s daughter, by name, of political bias. A similar move earned Trump a gag order violation last year from the Manhattan judge in his civil fraud case.

By Wednesday night, Merchan has not addressed Trump’s new posts from Loomer’s website or his failure to take down his March 27 posts.

An attorney for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the potential gag order violations.

Violations of a gag order are punishable under New York law by a contempt of court finding, fines, and even jail.

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