Manhattan DA Requests Gag Order on Trump in Hush Money Case

By Jerry McConway, updated on February 27, 2024

The hush money case that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg brought is set to start on March 25.

Bragg has followed the lead of other prosecutors, filing a gag order against Trump.

Talking Points…
- Bragg files gag order against Trump
- Trump response
- Analysis

Bragg Files Gag Order Against Trump

Most would probably agree that this move by Bragg was expected. Trump has had gag orders against him in both of his civil cases, so it would make sense for Bragg to make a pre-emptive move against Trump here to keep him quiet on social media about the case. Bragg did just that on February 22, with three separate filings to try to keep Trump quiet during the trial.

Unsurprisingly, Bragg referenced previous gag orders and Trump's behavior during previous trials to justify the order. He argued:

"Defendant has a long history of making public and inflammatory remarks about the participants in various judicial proceedings against him, including jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and court staff.

"Those remarks, as well as the inevitable reactions they incite from defendant's followers and allies, pose a significant and imminent threat to the orderly administration of this criminal proceeding and a substantial likelihood of causing material prejudice."

Bragg also requested that the jurors' names remain sealed and not made public, again referring to past attempts by Trump to apply pressure via social media posts. He cited past posts by Trump on this, which read:

"Thank you to the Special Grand Jury in the Great State of Georgia for your Patriotism & Courage. Total exoneration. The USA is very proud of you."

"Would someone please tell the Fulton County Grand Jury that I did not tamper with the election."

The third filing was to limit evidence and expert testimony, particularly evidence already rejected by the court.

Trump Campaign Responds to New Filings by Bragg

It took the Trump camp about five seconds to respond to Bragg's motions. Trump Campaign Spokesperson, Steven Cheung, stated:

"Today, the 2-tiered system of justice implemented against President Trump is on full display, with the request by another Deranged Democrat prosecutor seeking a restrictive gag order, which if granted, would impose an unconstitutional infringement on President Trump's First Amendment rights, including his ability to defend himself, and the rights of all Americans to hear from President Trump.

"This is election interference pure and simple. This case, like the others, is a sham orchestrated by partisan Democrats desperately attempting to prevent the reelection of President Trump and distract from the decrepit presidency of Crooked Joe Biden. The Radical Left will fail, and President Trump will Make America Great Again."

Analysis

The presiding judge in this case is Judge Juan Merchan, of whom there is no love lost between the judge and Trump. My gut tells me that Merchan will grant at least two of these motions by Bragg, and quite possibly the third as well, although I believe the third will not be quite as complete as Bragg had hoped.

Bragg wants to limit expert testimony, but Trump has the right to call anyone who would help his case on this matter. My guess here is that Bragg saw the debacle that took place during the fraud case, so he wants to cut testimony down by Trump expert witnesses. I think Merchan will agree with Bragg in rejecting any evidence being introduced that the court has already rejected, but he will allow Trump to call as many expert witnesses as they desire to present their case.

So, then the question becomes if Trump can beat this charge. I do believe that can happen, and probably should, at least to a degree, but it may again have to wait for an appeal before Trump gets his satisfaction. We have seen similar cases before, but the charges were not stacked by ledger entry, which is basically what Bragg did here. Ultimately, I think Trump will get off with a hard slap on the knuckles and a significant fine rather than jail time.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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