Prosecutors Seek Gag Order on Former President Trump Ahead of Hush-Money Trial

Prosecutors in the hush-money criminal case against former President Donald Trump have requested a gag order ahead of the trial, citing his history of making inflammatory remarks about individuals involved in his legal cases. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is seeking a narrowly tailored order that would prevent Trump from making public statements about potential witnesses, jurors, and court personnel, as well as statements intended to interfere with or harass them. The proposed gag order would also keep the names of jurors confidential to ensure their safety and facilitate jury selection.

The judge presiding over the case, Juan Manuel Merchan, has not yet made a ruling. Jury selection is scheduled to commence on March 25, marking the first of Trump’s four criminal cases to go to trial. In response to the gag order request, a spokesperson for Trump’s presidential campaign labeled it as “election interference” and criticized the hush-money case as a partisan effort to prevent Trump from returning to the White House. Trump’s lawyer, Susan Necheles, will respond to the request in court filings later this week.

The Manhattan case revolves around allegations that Trump falsified internal records to conceal payments made to his former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen. These payments, including $130,000 to porn actor Stormy Daniels, were made during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to suppress claims of extramarital affairs. Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records, a felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of four years.

Prosecutors argue that without a gag order, Trump’s rhetoric poses a significant threat to the trial by distracting personnel, diverting resources, and delaying the administration of justice. They point to Trump’s repeated social media attacks on judges, jurors, lawyers, and witnesses involved in legal proceedings against him. Trump has previously violated gag orders in his Washington, D.C., election interference case and his New York civil fraud trial.

The requested gag order would not restrict Trump from commenting on Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, whom Trump has criticized on social media. However, prosecutors contend that Trump’s animosity towards Bragg has led to an increase in threats against the prosecutor and his office. Last year, police recorded 89 threats against Bragg, his family, or staff, compared to just one threat in 2022. The threats began after Trump falsely claimed online that he was about to be arrested and encouraged his supporters to protest.

In a statement, a Trump campaign spokesperson criticized the gag order request as an infringement on Trump’s First Amendment rights and the rights of all Americans to hear from the former president. Prosecutors argue that Trump’s history of using public statements to attack individuals involved in legal proceedings against him necessitates the imposition of a gag order.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. Readers may find it useful to know that a gag order is a legal order that restricts the parties involved in a case from making public statements or comments that could potentially influence the outcome of the trial or prejudice the jury. In this particular case, the prosecutors are requesting a gag order to prevent Donald Trump from making inflammatory remarks about the individuals involved in his legal case, which could potentially impact the fairness of the trial. This resource provides insight into the legal implications and reasons behind the request for a gag

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