Updated Apr 4, 2023, 5:03pm EDT
politicsNorth America

No gag order for Trump: Judge

Donald Trump
REUTERS/Curtis Means

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The News

Former President Donald Trump and his legal team will not be placed under a gag order following his historic arraignment at the New York State Supreme Court on Tuesday, Judge Juan Merchan ruled.

But Merchan pressed both sides to maintain civility following Trump's arraignment, appearing to agree with prosecutors that Trump's "threatening and escalating" rhetoric could pose a problem going forward, the New York Times reported.

One of Trump's attorneys, Todd Blanche, attempted to justify the former president's past comments, prompting Merchan to say, "I don't share your view."

The judge urged both sides to refrain from commentary with "the potential to incite violence and civil unrest."

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Know More

Earlier reports revealed that Trump's legal team was particularly concerned about what a gag order would mean for his defense.

Following the arraignment, Trump's attorneys defended his previous social media posts attacking Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. They said they could not comment on whether they had advised Trump to refrain from posting similar rhetoric going forward.

"He is angry because the DA has brought a case that is unjustified," Susan Necheeles, one of Trump's attorneys told reporters.

Trump on Truth Social had previously shared a link to an article that featured a picture of a baseball bat next to Bragg, which many interpreted as threatening violence against the prosecutor. Trump also previously warned of potential "death and destruction" should Bragg's investigation lead to criminal charges. Trump has denied these posts were meant to encourage attacks.

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Step Back

Trump on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

Prosecutors alleged that Trump lied about illegal payments made to secure the silence of two women and a doorman who claimed to have damaging information about Trump before the 2016 presidential elections.

It is unclear when Trump's trial will begin, but both sides told the judge they would prefer a date for next year.


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