New York district attorney requests gag order for Trump in falsified business records case News
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New York district attorney requests gag order for Trump in falsified business records case

The New York County District Attorney’s Office requested on Monday that a New York state court place a gag order on former President Donald Trump. The order would bar Trump from making “prejudicial extrajudicial statements” during his upcoming falsified business records criminal case.

In the 331-page request, District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr. argues that the gag order is necessary due to Trump’s “long history of making public and inflammatory remarks” that impact court proceedings. The request focuses heavily on Trump’s social media posts. Bragg asserts that past posts “resulted in credible threats of violence, harassment, and intimidation.” He specifically referred to death threats made toward him and his family following a social media post in which Trump “falsely stated” he was about to be arrested and for his supporters to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”

Bragg based the gag order restrictions on the 1966 United States Supreme Court case Sheppard v. Maxwell. The case held that courts may prevent parties to litigation from making or directing others to make statements about jurors, witnesses, court staff and the staff and families of the district attorney’s staff that impeded judicial proceedings.

The same argument was made in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, where Trump faces charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results. The court rejected Trump’s request to review the gag order for First Amendment free speech infringement in January.

The falsified documents case involves “hush-money” payments made to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election to hide an alleged affair between Trump and Daniels. The prosecution says that Trump paid $130,000 to Daniels through his attorney, Michael Cohen. Daniels was allegedly paid through a shell company to hide the payments. The prosecution goes on to say that after the 2016 election, Trump repaid Cohen in monthly installments disguised as attorney’s fees. Cohen has since served prison time for his role in the alleged scheme. Trump pleaded “not guilty” to the 34 charges in April 2023. 

Trump previously attempted to have the case moved from New York state court to federal court. That attempt was denied in July 2023. The case is set to commence on March 25.