In the criminal hush money case against former President Donald Trump, New York state Judge Juan Merchan issued a gag order on Monday night prohibiting the 45th president from discussing certain evidence in the case on social media.
“Judge Juan Merchan largely sided with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg by limiting what Trump can publicly disclose about new evidence from the prosecution before the case goes to trial,” NBC News reported.
According to the decision, the defense must “use any materials and information provided by the People to the Defense in accordance with their discovery obligations… solely for the purposes of preparing a defense in this matter.”
In addition, the order states that anyone with access to the evidence provided by state prosecutors to Trump’s legal team “shall not copy, disseminate, or disclose” the information to outside parties, including social media platforms, “without prior approval from the court.”
It specifically calls out Trump himself, stating that he has the right to conduct a review of sensitive “Limited Dissemination Materials” from prosecutors only in the presence of his lawyers and “shall not be permitted to copy, photograph, transcribe, or otherwise independently possess the Limited Dissemination Materials.”
The judge’s order prohibits Trump from examining “forensic images of witness cell phones,” while his attorneys may show him “approved portions” of the images with the judge’s approval.
Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 charges related to allegations that he fabricated business documents in connection with the hush-money lawsuit involving pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels.
A Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump in a case involving his alleged involvement in payments of hush money to Daniels prior to the 2016 election, reportedly to keep Daniels silent about an affair the two had in 2006.
Recently, renowned attorney Alan Dershowitz also assailed Bragg, stating that he believed the Manhattan DA would lose his license due to his case against Trump.
While Dershowitz does not share Trump’s political beliefs, he told Tim Sebastian of DW that Bragg’s accusations against the former president are “absurd and politically motivated.” Given that judges and prosecutors in New York are elected, Dershowitz argued that Trump will not receive a “fair trial in Manhattan” and that they all likely incline left politically.
Dershowitz suggested that if Bragg summons former Trump attorney Michael Cohen as a witness during the December trial, things could become difficult for him.
“I don’t think an indictment can actually come forward now after the comments made by [Robert] Costello,” the attorney said.
He said that “he has proved that the main witness is going to be a perjuring liar on the witness stand, and that puts the district attorney in a terrible position.”
“If he uses Cohen as a witness, he could actually lose his bar license. Putting a witness on the stand who you know is lying is unethical, and he has to know that Cohen will be lying. Or he tries the case without Cohen, which would be very difficult, or he does the right thing: he drops the case,” Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz presented a similar justification late last month.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Dershowitz claimed during a Fox News appearance that if Bragg is found guilty of disclosing information about Trump’s indictment to the media, he may spend up to five years in prison. CONTINUE READING…