Missouri AG sues New York over ‘reprehensible lawfare’ against Trump: ‘Poisonous to American democracy’

EXCLUSIVE – Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed a lawsuit against the state of New York, alleging it violated Missourians’ First Amendment right to hear from former President Trump during the 2024 presidential election.

Bailey’s lawsuit alleges New York’s “illicit prosecution, gag order, and sentencing” of Trump has undermined his ability to campaign for president, sabotaging Missourians’ ability to hear from him and cast a fully informed vote for a presidential candidate mere months before the election.

His lawsuit petitions the Supreme Court to declare that New York’s restrictions on President Trump’s ability to campaign unlawfully interfere with the presidential election, to remove any gag orders against the former president and to halt his pending sentencing until after the presidential election.

“Right now, Missouri has a huge problem with New York. Instead of letting presidential candidates campaign on their own merit, radical progressives in New York are trying to rig the 2024 election by waging a direct attack on our democratic process,” said Bailey.

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 “I will not sit idly by while Soros-backed prosecutors hold Missouri voters hostage in this presidential election. I am filing suit to ensure every Missourian can exercise their right to hear from and vote for their preferred presidential candidate.”

The lawsuit alleges three specific violations, including interference with the presidential election in other states, violation of the First Amendment and the unlawful change of election rules in the months leading up to an election. It comes just one month after New York’s Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, won a guilty verdict against Trump.

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Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Trump pleaded not guilty to all counts. Each count carries a maximum prison sentence of four years. Trump faces a maximum sentence of 136 years. 

“This lawfare is poisonous to American democracy. The American people ought to be able to participate in a presidential election free from New York’s interference. Any gag order and sentence should be stayed until after the election,” Bailey said.

In the lawsuit, Bailey lays out the timeline of how Bragg brought charges against Trump, alleging he did it to boost President Biden’s campaign and keep Trump out of the White House. 

Bailey noted Bragg was previously involved in a lawsuit against Trump while working for the New York Attorney General’s Office and then campaigned for his current position by promising to use that experience to prosecute Trump. 

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Additionally, Bailey pointed out that Bragg hired the third highest-ranking member from Biden’s Department of Justice, Matthew Colangelo, to lead the prosecution against Biden’s political opponent.

His lawsuit also alleges Judge Juan Merchan, the judge overseeing Trump’s New York criminal trial, violated state judicial ethics rules by donating to the Biden campaign.

Bailey called it “reprehensible lawfare” against the former president.

“Trump’s conviction is very likely to be overturned on appeal. But, by then, the constraints New York has sought to impose on Trump to limit his ability to campaign will already have had their full effect. Missouri has a strong, judicially enforceable interest in its citizens and electors being able to hear Trump’s campaigning free from any gag order or other interference imposed by the State of New York.” – Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey

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Bailey filed a motion of preliminary injunction, asking the court to immediately halt any further action in the New York case until after the American people have had their say at the ballot box.

“Radical progressives in New York are trying to rig the 2024 election. We have to stand up and fight back,” Bailey previously told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview.

Trump on Monday moved to overturn his criminal conviction in the Manhattan case after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a former president has substantial immunity for official acts committed while in office. He also requested to delay his sentencing, which was scheduled for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention, where he will be formally named as the 2024 GOP presidential nominee. 

Bragg said Trump’s request to toss the verdict was without merit, but he did not oppose the request to delay sentencing. 

Merchan on Tuesday afternoon delayed Trump’s sentencing date to September 18 at 10 a.m. 

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report.