Judge Issues Gag Order On Trump Ahead Of New York Criminal Trial
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 25: Former U.S. President Donald Trump makes comments following a pre-trial hearing in a hash money case in criminal court on March 25, 2024 in New York City. Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records last year, which prosecutors say was an effort to hide a potential sex scandal, both before and after the 2016 election. Judge Juan Merchan is expected to set a new start date for the trial after it was delayed following the disclosure of new documents in the case.
Credit: Photo by Curtis Means-Pool/Getty Images.

A New York judge has placed a gag order on former President Donald Trump restricting his ability to speak out about witnesses, prosecutors, and jurors involved in the criminal case brought against him by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The case accuses the former president of falsifying business records related to payments made before the 2016 election by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels. Trump has pled not guilty to the 34 counts brought by Bragg’s office and denied claims that he ever had a relationship with Daniels.

Judge Juan Merchan, who scheduled the trial to begin on April 15, said on Tuesday that Trump would be restricted from making statements on those testifying against him, like Cohen, who is testifying for Bragg. Trump is also restricted from speaking out about prosecutors and jurors, according to the gag order.

Merchan said that previous statements Trump made about individuals involved in the case “were threatening, inflammatory, denigrating,” and “a sufficient risk to the administration of justice.”

“The consequences of those statements included not only fear on the part of the individual targeted, but also the assignment of increased security resources to investigate threats and protect the individuals and family members thereof,” the judge said.

“Such inflammatory extrajudicial statements undoubtedly risk impending the orderly administration of this Court,” Merchan added. “Given that the eve of trial is upon us, it is without question that the immanency of the risk of harm is now paramount.”

Trump had previously tried to have the trial delayed, but Merchan, a donor to President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, rejected his arguments on Monday.


Before the gag order was issued, Trump said in a Truth Social post that Bragg’s case against him was pushed by the Biden administration and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

“D.A. Bragg fought everyone about trying this ‘no crime’ case, but Crooked Joe Biden’s ‘Thugs’ pushed him to go forward, and pushed him hard,” Trump said. “They wanted him to go after ME, Crooked’s Political Opponent. He just didn’t want to do it. They ended up sending Matthew Colangelo, Merrick Garland’s ‘right hand,’ after a stop at the Corrupt and Racist New York State A.G. Letecia ‘Peekaboo’ James’ Office, to directly oversee the D.A., perhaps to make sure that Bragg followed their illegal orders and commands. He eventually agreed to do the ‘case’ that he never wanted to do.”

Bragg’s case, which has been widely viewed as the weakest case against the former president, was the first in a slew of criminal charges against Trump and made Trump the first ex-president to be charged with a crime.

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