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Sen. Tuberville, AG Marshall help Trump circumvent gag order in New York

The two Alabama politicians sought to support the former president as he is tried for falsifying business records.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Attorney General Steve Marshall
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On Monday, Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall both traveled to the courthouse where former president Donald Trump is being tried on campaign finance charges.

It is unclear whether the two politicians paid for their trips to New York City with personal, campaign, or public funds. Marshall’s and Tuberville’s offices did not respond to APR’s requests for comment.

In the ongoing trial in New York, Trump stands accused of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The prosecutors state that Trump “orchestrated a scheme with others to influence the 2016 presidential election by identifying and purchasing negative information about him to suppress its publication,” and falsified business records and broke election laws to cover it up.

The negative information Trump attempted to cover up was allegations by pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels that she had had a traumatic sexual encounter with Trump in July 2006. Trump’s wife Melania had given birth to Trump’s son Barron just four months earlier.

Trump’s defense team has disputed these allegations during the trial. They claim that the $130,000 Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen paid to Daniels was meant to make her stop spreading “false claims,” not accurate allegations.

Both before and after the trial began on April 16, Trump openly attacked the judge, Justice Juan Merchan, the judge’s daughter, the prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, and witnesses on his social media app Truth Social.

On April 26, Trump referred to the “Soros backed Alvin Bragg case.” George Soros is a Jewish billionaire who is the subject of many, frequently antisemitic, conspiracy theories. On May 7, Trump called Merchan “CROOKED & HIGHLY CONFLICTED.”

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A Reuters special report released on Tuesday found that these verbal attacks by Trump on the prosecution and the judge regularly resulted in Trump’s followers calling for violence against the targeted individuals.

Merchan issued a gag order against Trump weeks before the trial began, which Trump’s defense promptly appealed. On Tuesday, an appeals court found that “Merchan properly weighed petitioner’s [Trump’s] First Amendment Rights” and the gag order could remain in place.

It seems highly likely that the Trump campaign has been taking advantage of Tuberville, Marshall, and other Republican officials who have traveled to the New York courtroom in order to circumvent the gag order. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, told Politico that Trump’s senior campaign manager invited him to speak last week. Trump also said on Tuesday that he has “a lot of surrogates and they are speaking very beautifully.”

While Tuberville stated in an interview on Fox News that he “wasn’t invited,” he said in a different interview on Newsmax that he hopes “more and more senators and congressmen go up and represent [Trump], and go out and overcome this gag order.”

Outside the courthouse on Monday, Tuberville and Marshall both criticized the way that Trump has been treated by Merchan and Bragg while talking to the media.

Tuberville complained that Trump was given insufficient respect in the courtroom, pointing to Trump being called “Mr. Trump” and not “former president Trump.” 

“Mental anguish is trying to be pushed on the Republican candidate for the president of the United States,” Tuberville said.

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Marshall spoke about his 30 years of experience as a prosecutor and claimed that he has “never seen in my career a greater perversion of the criminal justice system” than he witnessed occurring during the Trump trial.

Marshall and Tuberville were also joined on Monday by Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio; Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-New York; and state Iowa Republican Attorney General Brenna Bird.

Chance Phillips is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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