107392414 1711392166079 Gettyimages 2112638445 Ms2 8974 Wf5pgtep.jpeg

Trump Gag Order Must Cover Judge’s Family, Hush Money Trial DA Says

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at 40 Wall Street after a pre-trial hearing on March 25, 2024 in New York City. 

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Donald Trump‘s “extreme and deliberate provocations” in his hush money trial are aimed to undermine the case, the Manhattan district attorney said Monday as he urged a judge to strengthen a gag order on the former president.

Trump’s “dangerous, violent, and reprehensible rhetoric fundamentally threatens the integrity of these proceedings and is intended to intimidate witnesses and trial participants alike — including this Court,” D.A. Alvin Bragg said in a blistering filing in New York Supreme Court.

Bragg’s request came after Trump, in numerous social media posts, targeted Judge Juan Merchan’s adult daughter over her work for a Democratic political firm. Bragg’s indictment charges Trump with falsifying business records to conceal a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“There is no constitutional right to target the family of this Court, let alone on the blatant falsehoods that have served as the flimsiest pretexts for defendant’s attacks,” Bragg’s filing said.

Trump “knows what he is doing, and everyone else does too,” the D.A. wrote.

Merchan last week imposed a gag order that bars Trump from speaking about likely witnesses and other figures, but does not explicitly prohibit criticism of the judge or his family.

Bragg’s office asked the judge on Thursday to “clarify or confirm” that the order protects the court’s family.

Monday’s filing raises the stakes: Bragg wants Merchan to “clarify or extend the Order to protect family members of the Court” and warn Trump that “any future disregard of the Order will result in sanctions.”

Trump’s attorneys responded later Monday that the gag order does not apply to Merchan’s family, and that it should not be expanded since it is “already an unlawful prior restraint that improperly restricts campaign advocacy by the presumptive Republican nominee.”

Their filing also noted that they will try once again to remove Merchan from the case, citing “changed circumstances and newly discovered evidence.”

Read more CNBC politics coverage

Their first attempt, last May, homed in on Merchan’s daughter’s role at Authentic Campaigns, a progressive consultant whose clients have included President Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival. Merchan declined to recuse himself. 

Trump’s filing Monday also suggests Merchan “violated Canon 3” by participating in a recent interview with the Associated Press, even though the judge refused to talk about the case. Canon 3 admonishes judges to minimize the risk of conflict between their personal lives and their judicial obligations.

Trump’s lawyers additionally suggested that it was problematic for the New York’s Office of Court Administration to issue a statement on Wednesday clarifying that a social media account no longer belonged to Merchan’s daughter.

But the office issued that statement only after Trump sent multiple social media posts claiming that the account currently belonged to Merchan’s daughter, and that it showed evidence of bias.

The hush money trial is set to begin jury selection on April 15. Trump’s lawyers, who have previously sought to dismiss the indictment or delay the trial, currently seek a “significant” delay on the grounds that press coverage of the trial has been “prejudicial.”

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *