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Read the new gag order muzzling Trump in his hush-money case

Donald Trump.Former President Donald Trump

Alex Brandon/AP

  • A New York state judge muzzled Trump with a social media gag order in his hush-money indictment.
  • Judge Juan Merchan, whom Trump has railed against on Truth Social, issued the order on Monday.
  • Trump will be permitted to view “limited” evidence but cannot publicly discuss or disclose the material.

A New York judge banned Donald Trump from posting any evidence on social media in his ongoing “hush-money” case after prosecutors accused the former president of having a history of targeting witnesses. 

State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan fulfilled prosecutors’ request this week in issuing a social media gag order on the former president, who is facing criminal charges stemming from allegations he oversaw hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

On April 4, Trump was arraigned on 34 counts of falsifying business records. Prosecutors allege he covered up a $130,000 non-disclosure payment just two weeks before the 2016 election in order to silence porn star Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair between the two. Trump has denied the affair and any wrongdoing.

Merchan’s Monday order comes as Trump’s legal team attempts to move the state criminal case to federal court. The order also stops Trump from publicly discussing details about witnesses involved in the case or any other evidence prosecutors plan to use against him.

A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

The judge said Trump would be allowed to view “limited” evidentiary material while in the presence of his lawyers, but the court order explicitly forbade Trump, or anyone else involved in the case, from copying, transcribing, or photographing the material. 

Following his March indictment, Trump took to Truth Social, where he railed against Merchan, saying the judge “HATES ME,” and accusing the judge’s wife of being “anti-Trump.”

During Trump’s April 4 arraignment, prosecutors warned that the former president had previously made threatening and insulting comments about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, but declined to request an official gag order at the time.

Three weeks later, during a hearing that Trump notably skipped, prosecutors changed their tune, asking for an official protective order around the case. Trump attorney Joe Tacopina called the request “extreme” earlier this month, and said any gag order should be equally applied to all parties, including prosecutors. 

The Monday order bars any person with access to evidence in the case from disseminating or disclosing it without approval from the court. 

Some such evidence includes witness contact information and photos of the inside of the home belonging to star witness Michael Cohen, Insider previously reported.

Read the four-page court order:

 

Read the original article on Business Insider