Judge issues harsh order against Trump in New York's “hush money” case

The judge overseeing the criminal case against former President Donald Trump in New York on Tuesday barred what Trump can say about those involved in the upcoming trial. “Hush money” is money 2016 made for an adult film star.

Judge Juan Merson issued an order Limiting Trump's Public Statements a A February request by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin BraggHis office listed a series of statements Trump has made on several cases in making the request.

These examples, Merchan said, “go beyond defending oneself against the attacks of 'public figures'.” He described Trump's statements as “threatening, inflammatory, derogatory.” .

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

Michael M Santiago/Getty Images/Getty Images

Bragg's office cited statements Trump made during another New York case, which recently ended with a $464 million verdict against him and other defendants. During that hearing, Trump publicly attacked a key witness in both cases and was subject to a gag order for defaming the judge's clerk.

“The consequences of those reports include not only fear of the targeted individual, but also the allocation of increased security resources to investigate threats and protect individuals and family members,” Merchan wrote.

The order prohibits Trump from commenting on or commenting on potential witnesses in the case, prospective jurors, court employees, attorneys in the district attorney's office and relatives of any counsel or court employees. He is also allowed to criticize Bragg and Merson. There is a case The hearing is scheduled for April 15.

Trump referenced Merson's daughter in a social media post Tuesday morning, denying her work for a Democratic consulting firm. In 2023 Trump's lawyers argued that Merchen should recuse himself from the case, an effort which Merchen rejected.

Trump is accused of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the days leading up to the 2016 election. Daniels alleged years ago that he had an affair with Trump and agreed to sell the rights to his story in exchange for payment. The former president has denied the affair and has pleaded not guilty, saying the case is part of a politically motivated attempt to prevent him from winning the presidency in November.

Merson emphasized the urgency of imposing the gag order before the trial begins, citing a pattern of threats and intimidation that have accompanied Trump's other cases. He noted how the “nature and impact” of Trump's statements about his federal election interference case in Washington, D.C., prompted a judge in that case to issue a similar gag order. Merson wrote that such prior statements “create sufficient danger to the administration of justice.”

“With pre-trial day upon us, there is no doubt that the risk of imminent harm is now paramount,” the judge wrote.

The order limits what Trump can say about some of his most frequent targets. His former “fixer” and lawyer, Michael Cohen, is a key witness in the case and a staunch Trump critic. The former president has derided him as a “sleazebag.” Trump now risks violating the order if he makes a similar insult to Cohen ahead of the trial.

Cohen thanked the judge who imposed the order, telling CBS News he was “under relentless attack from Donald's MAGA supporters,” while predicting Trump “will seek to defy the gag order by appointing others in his circle to do his bidding.” effect.”

Trump is barred from commenting publicly on the attorneys in the case, except for Bragg. Speaking to reporters after Monday's hearing in the case, Trump called Matthew Colangelo, a lawyer in the Prague office, an “extremist.” Trump has often mentioned Colangelo's previous work for the Justice Department in his social media posts.

A spokesman for Prague declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Trump's presidential campaign said the order “violates the civil rights of more than 100 million Americans who follow President Trump.”

“Judge Merson's unconstitutional gag order prevents President Trump, the front-runner for the presidency of the United States, from engaging in substantive political speech, which is entitled to the highest level of protection under the First Amendment,” Cheung said.

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