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Manhattan DA Bragg seeks gag order on Trump in Stormy Daniels hush money case

Molly Crane-Newman, New York Daily News on

Published in Political News

NEW YORK — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office on Monday asked a judge for a narrowly tailored gag order prohibiting Donald Trump from commenting on those involved in the hush money case ahead of his first criminal trial next month, citing the former president’s record of “advocacy of revenge and retribution against perceived opponents.”

In a 331-page court filing, Manhattan prosecutors laid out Trump’s “long history of making public and inflammatory remarks about the participants in various judicial proceedings,” including last year posting photos depicting him “holding a baseball bat and wielding it at the back of the District Attorney’s head.”

“[A]s well as the inevitable reactions they incite from defendant’s followers and allies,” Assistant District Attorney Matthew Colangelo wrote, Trump’s remarks “pose a significant and imminent threat to the orderly administration of this criminal proceeding and a substantial likelihood of causing material prejudice.

“Those concerns grow more acute with the approaching trial,” Colangelo wrote.

Specifically, Colangelo asked Judge Juan Merchan to prohibit Trump from “making or directing others” to make statements about witnesses concerning their potential involvement, prosecutors in the case — not including Bragg — Merchan’s staff and the DA’s staff, their relatives, and prospective jurors.

 

Trump is set to go on trial on March 25 in the Stormy Daniels hush money case as the first U.S. president in history to face a criminal trial. He’s pleaded not guilty to 34 felonies alleging he concealed a series of checks to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, in 2017 to disguise that they were payback for an illegal scheme to bury negative press ahead of the 2016 election and secure his victory.

In the lead-up to his indictment last spring and after it, DA Bragg and Merchan were inundated with death threats and racist correspondence, The News reported, as with officials involved in the various criminal and civil cases Trump faces as he vies for the Republican nomination for president.

Trump’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

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