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Manhattan DA Requests ‘Narrowly Tailored’ Gag Order on Trump Before March Trial


On Monday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg asked a judge to impose a “narrowly tailored” gag order that would bar Donald Trump from swiping at jurors, witnesses, prosecutors, and court staff assigned to the first criminal case against the former president currently expected to go to trial.

Prosecutors made their request just less than a month before a trial is anticipated to begin. The case involves charges accusing Trump of falsifying business records dozens of times to keep voters in the dark about his alleged affair with pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

In a 30-page memo, prosecutors call the measure necessary in light of Trump’s “long history of making public and inflammatory remarks about the participants in various judicial proceedings against him.” 

They also note that other courts have reached the same conclusion. 

In his New York civil fraud case, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a narrow gag order preventing Trump from speaking about courtroom staff, after the former president denigrated the judge’s principal law clerk. An appellate court upheld Engoron’s order.

Over in Washington, D.C., Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith successfully requested restrictions barring Trump from attacking known witnesses in the case accusing the former president of committing four federal crimes in his quest to overturn his 2020 electoral defeat. In their memo, Bragg’s prosecutors cited a federal appellate court’s ruling largely affirming Smith’s requested gag order. 

Notably, Trump’s bond order in Fulton County, Georgia requires Trump not to make any “direct or indirect threat of any nature” against co-defendants, witnesses, victims, or the community including through “posts on social media or reposts of posts.” 

The Manhattan DA’s memo swings somewhat more broadly than either of the previously requested gag orders. It seeks to bar Trump from “making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses,” “counsel in the case other than the District attorney,” “members of the court’s staff and the District Attorney’s staff,” “the family members of any counsel or staff member” under certain conditions, and jurors. 

Read the gag order request here.  

This is a developing story and will be updated.

IMAGE: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a press conference following the arraignment of former U.S. President Donald Trump April 4, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

The post Manhattan DA Requests ‘Narrowly Tailored’ Gag Order on Trump Before March Trial appeared first on Just Security.

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