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‘Let Trump Speak Act’ to ban gag orders on defendants put forward by House GOP

FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Andy Ogles is introducing the “Let Trump Speak Act” on Thursday to prohibit judges from issuing gag orders to defendants, like former President Donald Trump, in any criminal or civil proceeding. 

“We have watched for years as a politically-weaponized Department of Justice and Democrat activist judges have gone after President Donald J. Trump,” the Tennessee Republican told Fox News Digital. “There is no right more sacred to Americans than the right to speak freely, as guaranteed in the First Amendment.”

Ogles, a strong Trump ally, added that “activists within the justice system are attempting to strip President Trump of this right for the sake of their own political agenda.”

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Former President Donald Trump at defense table in courtroom

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his criminal trial, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 15, 2024.  (Angela Weiss/AFP via AP Pool)

If the bill passes, it would grant the right to file a civil lawsuit in a U.S. district court to seek injunctive relief if it is violated. Ten Republicans in theGOP-led Househouse are sponsoring the bill. 

“This continued weaponization of justice and harassment of President Trump must end,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., one of the co-sponsors, said in a statement.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., another co-sponsor, said “we have seen how our institutions have gone after President Trump to try and forcibly silence him.”

“This vital American value must not be corrupted, especially by those driven by political rivalries,” she said. 

Other cosponsors include Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C.; Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mt.; Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.; Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill.; Rep. Diana Harshbarger, R-Tenn.; Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo.; and Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz.

The bill comes as the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected former President Donald Trump’s attempt to end a gag order that has prevented him from speaking publicly about many aspects of the case. Trump’s legal team now has the opportunity to appeal the gag order to the New York Court of Appeals.

NY V TRUMP: APPEALS COURT REJECTS TRUMP’S REQUEST TO END ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ GAG ORDER

Donal Trump shown in profile and head on in courtroom sketch

Former U.S. President Donald Trump watches as Robert Browning, the executive director of the C-SPAN archives, enters video into the court during Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. April 30, 2024 in this courtroom sketch.  (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)

“We find that Justice Merchan properly weighed petitioner’s First Amendment Rights against the court’s historical commitment to ensuring the fair administration of justice in criminal cases, and the right of persons related or tangentially related to the criminal proceedings from being free from threats, intimidation, harassment, and harm,” the First Department of the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division wrote in its order Tuesday.

The case focuses on Cohen paying former pornographic performer Stormy Daniels $130,000 prior to the 2016 presidential election to allegedly quiet her claims about a 2006 affair with the then-real estate tycoon. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.

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Andy Ogles, Tennessee Republican congressman

Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., introduces the Let Trump Speak Act on Thursday.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung previously told Fox News Digital the gag order “is unconstitutional and un-American.”

“The threat to throw the 45th President of the United States and the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election in jail for exercising his First Amendment rights is a Third World authoritarian tactic typical of Crooked Joe Biden and his comrades,” he said.

Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report. 


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