Manhattan DA Seeks Trump Gag Order

Catherine Yang
By Catherine Yang
February 26, 2024Donald Trump
Manhattan DA Seeks Trump Gag Order
Former President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump arrives to speak during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 24, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office is seeking a gag order that would prevent former President Donald Trump from making “certain extrajudicial statements” as a case alleging the 45th president falsified business documents is heading to trial.

Last week, the district attorney filed a notice for the upcoming gag order motion, arguing that President Trump “has a long history of making public and inflammatory remarks about the participants in various judicial proceedings against him.”

The argument echoes those used in other jurisdictions to successfully gag President Trump during legal proceedings. A New York civil court and a federal judge in Washington had both imposed gag orders on the former president with the reasoning that named parties may suffer undue harassment, and appeals courts in both cases upheld the gag orders in part for the same reasons.

As such, the Manhattan district attorney is arguing that “legal authority for such an order is well-established.”

They argue that the former president’s statements, as well as the “inevitable reactions they incite from defendant’s followers and allies” will disorder the legal process and are likely to cause “material prejudice.”

The court has already issued a protective order regarding the “use of materials obtained through discovery and by subpoena” and prosecutors now want an additional order prohibiting President Trump from making or directing others to make statements about “reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”

Mirroring the language used by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the prosecutors ask that the gag order extend to statements about counsel other than Mr. Bragg, family and staff members of the district attorney or other counsel, and court staff if the statements are “made with the intent to materially interfere” with the case or cause others to, or any statements about jurors or prospective jurors.

“As other courts have found, these reasonable prophylactic measures are amply warranted by defendant’s past conduct and by the risk of prejudice to the pending proceeding if appropriate protective steps are not taken,” prosecutors wrote.

They argue this is appropriate as it is “narrowly tailored.” The order would not prevent President Trump from speaking about the case or Mr. Bragg, but would prevent him from making statements about witnesses—including likely Michael Cohen, who formerly represented President Trump and whose claims led to the case.

In a separate civil case, attorneys for President Trump had sought to impeach Mr. Cohen as a witness, pointing out he lied in court multiple times.

Attorneys for President Trump said they will respond in court this week.

Bragg Received White Powder Letters, Threats: Security Officer

Prosecutors argued that President Trump has “longstanding and perhaps singular history” of social media use and other platforms on which he criticizes “adversaries.”

They cited posts with him calling Mr. Bragg “racist, George Soros backed” while blasting “the Radical Left Democrats, the Fake News Media, and the Department of ‘Injustice.'”

New York Police Department Sergeant Nicholas Pistilli, who heads Mr. Bragg’s security detail, stated in an affidavit that in 2022, out of the nearly 500 threat cases against public officials, only one named Mr. Bragg. In 2023, there were 89 threat cases involving Mr. Bragg, his family, or his employees, and the first one came on the same day President Trump made a post on March 18, 2023, about the impending indictment.

Mr. Pistilli said there were two letters addressed to the district attorney containing white powder, one with a note stating “Alvin: I’m going to kill you” and the other “you will be sorry” along with photos of Mr. Bragg and President Trump.

Mr. Pistilli monitored 600 more harassing emails, calls, and text messages directed toward the district attorney or other staff in his office, and the prosecutors added that there had been “thousands” in total.

The prosecutors also submitted several court filings from President Trump’s other criminal cases, including an affidavit by investigator Gerald Walsh who stated that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had been doxxed and received multiple threats after her prosecution of President Trump.


The Manhattan case was the first of President Trump’s four criminal indictments, and is the first of those cases to go to trial.

President Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records, and prosecutors allege that he did so in an effort to conceal an “illegal scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election.”

The investigation arose out of claims made by Mr. Cohen, who had spoken publicly about paying an adult film actress to prevent her from making statements about an alleged affair with then-candidate Trump, and claimed he was reimbursed illegally by his client and there were falsified business records as a result.

The trial begins on March 25 with jury selection.

From The Epoch Times

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