Updated Apr 1, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Judge expands gag order in Trump hush money case

Former President Trump in Long Island, New York, on March 28. Photo: Angeles Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

A New York judge on Monday agreed to expand the gag order against former President Trump to stop him from attacking family members of those involved in the New York hush money case.

The big picture: Trump, who also faces gag orders related to his other criminal indictments, has continuously posted on social media about people in the orbit of his cases.

State of play: Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan granted the request from the Manhattan district attorney's office to expand the gag order to include protections for family members of prosecutors and court members.

  • Trump has continued to post about Merchan's daughter after the judge declined to delay trial, scheduled to start April 15.
  • "This pattern of attacking family members of presiding jurists and attorneys assigned to his cases serves no legitimate purpose," Merchan wrote.
  • "It merely injects fear in those assigned or called to participate in the proceedings, that not only they, but their family members as well, are 'fair game' for defendant's vitriol."

Catch up quick: Merchan issued a gag order last week in response to a request from the Manhattan district attorney's office, barring Trump from commenting on witnesses, prosecutors, court staff and jurors.

  • Under the gag order, Trump cannot make, or direct others to make, public statements about counsel in the case. Bragg, who is an elected official, is an exception.
  • Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg argued in a court filing Monday that the judge should clarify or confirm whether the gag order protects the family members of those mentioned in the order, including the court staff and prosecutors.
  • "Defendant's dangerous, violent, and reprehensible rhetoric fundamentally threatens the integrity of these proceedings and is intended to intimidate witnesses and trial participants alike— including this Court," prosecutors wrote in Monday's court filing.

The other side: Trump's attorneys contested the DA's motion in their own filing Monday, saying the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has not violated the gag order and expanding it "would exacerbate the existing and ongoing constitutional violations that the order is inflicting."

  • They argued that the gag order does not apply to family members of the court and the DA.

Go deeper: Judge issues gag order in Trump's hush money case

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the judge's order.

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