Judge Juan Merchan Upholds Integrity in Manhattan’s Trump Hush-Money Trial: Issues Gag Order Amid Online Criticism from Former President

Former Prosecutor Commends New York Judge’s Strict Enforcement of Gag Order Against Trump

In Manhattan, a gag order has been issued for former President Donald Trump by Judge Juan Merchan as he prepares for his criminal hush-money trial next month. The judge granted a motion from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to prevent Trump from making public statements about jurors and potential witnesses involved in the investigation. This is not the first time that Trump has been subject to a gag order in New York.

In 2019, a previous judge imposed a similar order during Trump’s civil fraud trial after he made negative comments about the judge’s principal clerk. The recent gag order was issued on the same day that Trump criticized the judge and his daughter on Truth Social, a social media platform. Despite this, Merchan reprimanded Trump’s legal team for allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and set the trial date for April 15.

Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman noted Judge Merchan’s seriousness in handling the upcoming trial, mentioning the significant gag order imposed on Trump and Merchan’s readiness to enforce it if Trump violates it, especially after a jury is selected. Observers believe that this shows a commitment to ensuring a fair and orderly legal process in the voter deception trial involving the former president.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office filed their motion weeks before Trump made any online remarks about Judge Merchan or his daughter. However, it is unclear whether this had an impact on Merchan’s decision to issue the gag order.

Trump has made threatening and inflammatory remarks in relation to witnesses and jurors in past cases involving him. The D.A.’s office cited these remarks as evidence of potential witness tampering and disruption to court proceedings.

Merchan highlighted these prior threats when issuing his most recent gag order, noting that they could disrupt court proceedings if repeated again during his trial.

Overall, observers view Judge Merchan’s decision as an important step towards ensuring that justice is served fairly and without interference from outside parties like former presidents or political allies.

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