Judge orders hearing for Trump’s ‘totally unhinged’ tweets

NEW YORK — A federal judge has ordered the government to allow a hearing for President Donald Trump’s tweets about a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan granted a request Thursday by attorneys for Trump to present his tweets as part of a new class-action lawsuit that alleges that the tweets violate federal law by calling into question his independence and impartiality.

The tweets come after a judge had thrown out a previous lawsuit alleging that Trump and his associates have violated the emoluments clause, a clause in the Constitution that prohibits a president from receiving payments or benefits from foreign governments.

Trump’s lawyers argued that the emulsified tweets did not amount to an unconstitutional speech or expression.

The judge also asked Sullivan to decide whether Trump’s comments in January on CNN’s “New Day” that “the judge is biased” against him are protected by the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech.

The president’s lawyers also said they have requested that Sullivan rule that the tweet that referred to a judge’s race and ancestry is protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Trump said during the interview that he has no plans to sue the judge and that the court should “shut up” and let him speak.

“They’re trying to get a judge to shut up,” he said of his lawyers.

“I mean, I think the judge is totally unhinge, so shut up.”

The White House had argued that Sullivan’s order was a procedural matter and that it was unnecessary.

Trump’s lawyers countered that Sullivan was merely granting a request that the judge issue a temporary restraining order, which is the final step before the government is allowed to proceed with the case.

A spokesman for Sullivan said in a statement that Sullivan did not rule on the merits of the case, but that he was considering whether to issue a restraining order that could affect future cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.