Will Trump Get Gag Order In Manhattan DA Case? Following his indictment by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, former president Donald Trump is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. The court may issue a gag order to prevent him from speaking publicly about the case, and if he does, he may face legal repercussions. The ex-president has already reacted angrily to the indictment and has reportedly plans to intensify his attacks.
- A judge may impose a gag order in a criminal or civil matter to prevent a party, including counsel or witnesses, from discussing the case in public. The specifics of the order and what may and cannot be spoken differ.
- A party who disobeys a gag order may be found in contempt of court, which in New York carries a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.
- Although there are First Amendment concerns given that Trump is running for president that could make any broad restrictions on his speech legally problematic, legal experts cited by Insider and Bloomberg said it’s possible and even “extremely likely” that the court could impose a gag order on Trump, especially given security concerns arising from his attacks on prosecutors or other figures in the case.
- According to Katie Townsend, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press’s deputy executive director and legal director, any gag order would likely be “narrowly crafted” to only include specific types of information regarding the case.
- Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor, told Insider that it is most likely that a gag order will be imposed on Trump when he is arraigned on Tuesday as a requirement for his release from custody. Additionally, the former president’s attorneys may also be forbidden from publicly discussing the case in order to avoid tainting the jury pool before a trial.
- According to Levin, the judge presiding over the case, Juan Merchan of the New York Supreme Court, is a “extremely no-nonsense judge,” whom Trump has already criticized on social media.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR ?
Trump is expected to turn himself up in Manhattan on Tuesday. He will be arraigned, fingerprinted, and then freed pending trial. While his look is “already generally known” and there are concerns about leaks, he might not have a mug shot taken, according to sources quoted by CNN. Trump’s lawyer also stated that he won’t be detained. Although media outlets have requested that the court broadcast the arraignment, it is still unknown whether the judge would agree. The first test of any gag order against the former president, if one is enforced, might be his planned public statement from his Mar-A-Lago resort after his arrest on Tuesday night.
According to Levin, if Trump does disobey a gag order against him, the court will probably give him a few chances before declaring him in contempt of court rather than punishing him harshly on the spot.
The regulations are no longer within [Trump’s] scope to make because this is now a criminal matter, according to Levin, who once defended bogus heiress Anna Sorokin and media magnate Harvey Weinstein. He is a criminal defendant, and as you know, every day we meet hundreds of thousands of criminal defendants around the nation who have had many of their rights taken away. He is now one of them. His life will change as a result of these proceedings.”
After being indicted in 2019, Trump ally Roger Stone was put under a gag order, which grew tougher as Stone continued to speak out about the charges brought against him. Stone was initially subject to a restraining order that only prohibited him from discussing the case when he was in or near the courthouse in Washington, D.C. However, after he shared an image that appeared to show the judge in crosshairs, the order was expanded to prevent Stone from discussing the case or posting about it on social media at all. (Stone asserted that the crosshairs were a “occult emblem” instead.) A few months later, after continuing to publish posts that the judge claimed breached the judgement against him, he was then prohibited from accessing social media at all.
The allegations against Trump originate from “hush money” payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016, for which the former president reportedly reimbursed his lawyer Michael Cohen. Trump was indicted on these charges on Thursday. According to the Associated Press, the indictment, which is still under seal, is thought to include more than 30 allegations against Trump, including numerous instances of manipulating company documents and at least one felony infraction. Trump has publicly accused Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg for being politically biased against him in response to the accusations, branding them “Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history.” The likelihood that Trump would be subject to a gag order comes as the Guardian says that the former president intends to intensify his criticism of Bragg, telling advisers he wants to “go on offence” and “beat ’em up” politically.