Judge Puts Trump Under A New Gag Order Ahead Of Quickly Approaching Criminal Trial

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On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump was made subject to a new gag order in his local criminal case in New York accusing him of the falsification of business records. Prosecutors requested such a move.

The order unveiled Tuesday blocks a variety of commentary related to the case from Trump that names known or reasonably anticipated witnesses, lawyers participating in the case (excluding Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg), and prospective or actual jurors, among others. It doesn’t include limits on Trump publicly attacking presiding Judge Juan Merchan himself, who Trump antagonized online this week, even roping the judge’s daughter into his familiar allegations of bias.

Earlier, prosecutors also requested — and got — formal limits on the distribution of identifying details for participants in the jury. Trump and his legal team will still have access to such details, but the sharing of such information beyond a limited group of individuals directly involved in the case was blocked.

Trump’s rhetoric has already spurred extensive concerns in a variety of contexts both political and legal about suspected possibilities for threats of violence — or the real thing — to follow, and accordingly, he was put under gag orders already in other cases including his federal criminal proceedings alleging attempted election interference.

Another gag order came in the civil case from state authorities in New York that successfully alleged a years-long pattern of business fraud. Although trial’s end and the judge’s ruling on its core issues already came, Trump is still mad about that gag order, referencing it in his online commentary just in recent days. The civil case’s restrictions on Trump accompanied issues like him posting an evident link to a social media profile for a member of the court’s staff.

In court earlier this week, Merchan — the judge on Trump’s New York City criminal case — put the trial on track for the middle of next month, rebuffing the Trump team’s allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and concurrent arguments for dismissing the case or imposing extensive delays.