Judge warns Michael Cohen to stop talking about Trump hush money

The warning comes after ABC News reported that Cohen discussed the case on TikTok.

Judge Juan Mercen warned Michael Cohen on Friday. The reports follow an exclusive report by ABC News.

“I direct the people to inform Mr. Cohen that the judge is asking him to refrain from making any further statements about this case,” Merson said. “It comes from the bench and you report it on behalf of the bench.”

It comes after defense attorney Todd Blanch brought up recent statements by Michael Cohen, who this week wore a shirt with a photo of Trump behind bars on TikTok.

“President Trump not being allowed to respond to this witness is becoming more of a problem every day,” Blanche asserted. He has said on social media that he is going to stop talking and that he is not.

The government said it had already “repeatedly” asked Cohen and others not to post, but said it had no control over the witnesses.

Trump is under investigation for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels by Cohen, who was Trump’s lawyer at the time, to boost Trump’s election chances in the 2016 presidential election. The former president has denied any wrongdoing.

On Wednesday night, days before he was scheduled to take the stand, Cohen went live on TikTok wearing an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and a shirt worn behind bars, according to video of the stream reviewed by ABC News. The shirt for Cohen’s show, called the “Me Galpa Podcast,” retails for $32, and he’s been selling it since 2022.

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Cohen previously said he would “stop posting anything” about Trump, but has since appeared several times on TikTok discussing the former president and the investigation, according to hours of Cohen’s streams reviewed by ABC News.

Judge Merson’s warning Friday came after ABC News first reported last week that Cohen had been discussing Trump in late-night livestreams on TikTok during the trial.

During a gag order hearing last week, both sides directly referenced ABC News’ court filings and a report about the financial benefits he earned while appearing on TikTok during the trial — which legal experts called “disastrous.”

“As reported, it’s true that Mr. Cohen went on TikTok at night and started making money — obviously you can make money — doing things while people are watching you on TikTok,” Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanch said. told the judge.

Blanche then began reading Cohen’s statement to ABC News in response to the story, to which Merson nodded in agreement.

The Trump team has repeatedly argued that Trump will respond to political attacks through his statements about Michael Cohen and others. The DA’s office also cited Michael Cohen’s TikTok videos.

“This is not a man who needs protection from a gag order,” said Blanche.

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