Manhattan DA Already Wants a Gag Order on Trump in Hush-Money Case

Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz
Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz

Manhattan prosecutors asked a judge Monday to impose a “narrowly tailored” gag order on Donald Trump that would prevent him from publicly disparaging nearly everyone involved in his criminal hush money case, aside from District Attorney Alvin Bragg himself.

Even before the start of the trial, which is slated to kick off next month, prosecutors reported they’ve received “an extraordinary surge” in threats that stem from their prosecution of the former president and his repeated tirades against them.

If approved, the gag order would bar Trump from publicly bashing witnesses, lawyers involved in the case, court staff, and all of their loved ones. That would include Trump being barred from speaking about his former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen.

Stormy Daniels Says She’s Testifying in Trump Hush Money Case

In a motion filed Monday, prosecutors wrote that Trump’s history of making nasty comments about rivals shows he’d likely do the same in this criminal trial. It added that Trump has already gone after Bragg and those under him publicly, claiming to be the victim of a politically charged prosecution that’s unfairly singling him out.

“[Trump] has a long history of making public and inflammatory remarks about the participants in various judicial proceedings against him,” the motion said. “Those remarks, as well as the inevitable reactions they incite from [his] followers and allies, pose a significant and imminent threat to the orderly administration of this criminal proceeding and a substantial likelihood of causing material prejudice.”

The motion specified that it’s not requesting that Trump be blocked from speaking about Bragg—a move that suggests the district attorney isn’t trying to silence Trump completely, but instead hopes to protect witnesses and those who work under him.

New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan has yet to rule on the request, which specifically asks that Trump also be ordered not to speak publicly about any prospective jurors.

Monday’s motion acknowledged that it is requesting a gag order similar to orders approved in Trump’s federal criminal trials.

Trump stands accused of falsifying business records regarding alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, that occurred before the 2016 election. Trump has denied the affair and pleaded not guilty to 34 counts.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on March 25.

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