Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) has filed a new petition in an effort to restrict former President Donald Trump’s access to certain evidence that will be presented by his office in the case against him.
The New York Times reports that on Tuesday, prosecutors from Bragg’s office asked the judge in the case to restrict Trump’s ability to examine the prosecution’s evidence against him without an attorney present.
Bragg’s office asserts that such a restriction would prevent the former president from disclosing case details as he seeks reelection in 2024.
“When 34 felony charges were unsealed against Mr. Trump earlier this month, prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, said they were working with the former president’s lawyers to come to an agreement as to how some case material — personal information of witnesses and evidence, including grand jury testimony — could be used,” the Times reported.
“But the opposing sides could not reach an agreement, and the prosecution’s request is now expected to be opposed by Mr. Trump’s lawyers. Ultimately it will fall to the judge in the case, Juan M. Merchan, to determine whether to limit Mr. Trump’s access and public comments in any way,” the report continued.
According to the report, the prosecution is not seeking a gag order to prevent Trump from discussing the case at all, as Justice Merchan has indicated he would not authorize such an order at this time. Nonetheless, the prosecution’s appeal may limit Trump’s ability to use the evidence for political purposes.
This motion, filed by assistant district attorney Catherine McCaw, is the opening salvo in what the Times predicts will be a contentious and protracted legal battle between the two parties over numerous issues in the months leading up to the trial.
“Mr. Bragg has accused the former president of orchestrating the cover-up of a $130,000 hush-money payment made to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, who agreed to keep quiet about her story of a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump. The payment was made by Mr. Trump’s former fixer, Michael D. Cohen, who is expected to become a crucial witness for prosecutors at trial,” the Times said, adding that a trial is not expected until next year — in the middle of Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.
In her appeal to the judge, McCaw reportedly mentioned Trump’s well-known tendency to use social media and public events to attack those investigating him. She emphasized that Trump had already initiated such assaults by insulting Bragg, Cohen, Daniels, and Merchan.
The Times reported that the assistant district attorney expressed concern over the trend of such assaults, especially in light of Trump’s involvement in another federal investigation regarding his management of classified documents. She noted that Trump “is currently under federal investigation for his handling of classified materials, which gives rise to significant concern that defendant will similarly misuse grand jury and other sensitive documents here.”
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
“She requested that Mr. Trump — or anyone else who received the case materials — be blocked from disseminating them to news or social media platforms,” said the Times. “And she said that there was a smaller subset of materials that should be kept in the “exclusive control” of his lawyers. Mr. Trump should be barred from reviewing that material without his lawyers present, Ms. McCaw said. She did not elaborate on what that material was expected to include.” CONTINUE READING…