DA Suggests Donald Trump Violated Gag Order With Post About Daughter Of Hush-Money Trial Judge | EUROtoday

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NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan prosecutors prompt Friday that Donald Trump violated a gag order in his hush-money prison case this week by assailing the decide’s daughter and making a false declare about her on social media.

The Manhattan district lawyer’s workplace requested Judge Juan M. Merchan to “clarify or confirm” the scope of the gag order, which he issued Tuesday, and to direct the previous president and presumptive Republican nominee to “immediately desist from attacks on family members.”

In a letter to Merchan, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass argued that the gag order’s ban on statements meant to intrude with or harass the court docket’s employees or their households makes the decide’s daughter off-limits from Trump’s rhetoric. He mentioned Trump needs to be punished for additional violations.

Trump’s legal professionals contended the D.A.’s workplace is misinterpreting the order and mentioned it doesn’t prohibit him from commenting about Loren Merchan, a political advisor whose agency has labored on campaigns for Trump’s rival. President Joe Biden, and different Democrats.

“The Court cannot ‘direct’ President Trump to do something that the gag order does not require,” Trump’s legal professionals Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles wrote to Merchan in a response to the prosecution’s letter. “To ‘clarify or confirm’ the meaning of the gag order in the way the People suggest would be to expand it.”

The trial, which entails allegations Trump falsified fee data in a scheme to cowl up detrimental tales throughout his 2016 presidential marketing campaign, is scheduled to start April 15. Trump denies wrongdoing and has pleaded not responsible to 34 counts of falsifying enterprise data.

Former President Donald Trump comments as he leaves a pre-trial hearing during a recess with his defense team at court in New York on Monday, March 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool)
Former President Donald Trump feedback as he leaves a pre-trial listening to throughout a recess together with his protection crew at court docket in New York on Monday, March 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool)

In his posts Wednesday on his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote that Loren Merchan “makes money by working to ‘Get Trump,’” and he wrongly accused her of posting a social media picture exhibiting him behind bars.

A spokesperson for New York’s state court docket system mentioned Trump’s declare was false and that the social media account Trump was referencing now not belonged to Loren Merchan.

The account on X, previously referred to as Twitter, “is not linked to her email address, nor has she posted under that screenname since she deleted the account. Rather, it represents the reconstitution, last April, and manipulation of an account she long ago abandoned,” court docket spokesperson Al Baker mentioned.

In the identical Truth Social posts, Trump complained that his gag order was “illegal, un-American, unConstitutional.” He mentioned that Judge Merchan was “wrongfully attempting to deprive me of my First Amendment Right to speak out against the Weaponization of Law Enforcement” by Democratic rivals.

The gag order, which prosecutors had requested, bars Trump from both making or directing different folks to make public statements on his behalf about jurors or potential witnesses within the hush-money trial, equivalent to his lawyer turned nemesis Michael Cohen and porn star Stormy Daniels.

The order, echoing one in Trump’s Washington, D.C., election interference prison case, additionally prohibits any statements meant to intrude with or harass the court docket’s employees, prosecution crew or their households. Trump, nonetheless, is free to criticize Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the elected Democrat whose workplace is prosecuting Trump — however Steinglass desires his household off limits, too.

In his letter, Steinglass implored the decide to “make abundantly clear” to Trump that the gag order protects his household, Bragg’s household and relations of all different people lined by the gag order. He urged Merchan to warn Trump “that his recent conduct is contumacious and direct him to immediately desist.”

A gag order violation might end in Trump being held in contempt of court docket, fined and even jailed.

Trump’s legal professionals argued in opposition to any such warnings, citing constitutional considerations about limiting Trump’s speech additional whereas he’s campaigning for president and preventing prison expenses.

They mentioned that if prosecutors press the difficulty, they’ll need to litigate it absolutely, including a possible wrinkle to trial preparations with jury choice set to start in a little bit over two weeks.