Apr 16, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump "is not above the law," N.Y. prosecutors tell judge in contempt motion

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a press conference at the Louis J. Lefkowitz State Office Building on March 21, 2024 in New York City

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a press conference on March 21 in New York City. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed a motion Tuesday seeking to hold former President Trump in contempt for alleged violations of his partial gag order in the New York criminal case.

Why it matters: Prosecutors in the Tuesday filing pointed to recent posts the former president made on his Truth Social account "attacking two known witnesses — Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels," per the filing.

  • Prosecutors argue that the social media posts violate the partial gag order Trump is under in the trial, which prohibits him from making public statements on possible witnesses in the case.
  • Prosecutors also asked that Trump be fined $3,000 for violations of the gag order in three separate social media posts.

Driving the news: "Defendant is not above the law, and he cannot simply disregard judicial orders that upset him," Bragg wrote in the motion, which was filed on the second day of jury selection in the trial.

  • "Defendant's recent social media posts plainly violate the order because they target known witnesses concerning their participation in this criminal proceeding," Bragg wrote.

Zoom in: Trump, who has denied wrongdoing in the New York criminal case, has repeatedly assailed it as a politically motivated witch hunt.

What's next: Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing Trump's New York criminal trial, scheduled a hearing for April 23 over prosecutors' request to hold the former president in contempt.

Go deeper: Dozens of potential Trump jurors excused after saying they couldn't be impartial

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