Judge Merchan Sets Date for Hearing over Alleged Gag Order Violation by Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team ahea
Jabin Botsford/Pool Photo via AP

The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s hush money criminal trial in Manhattan set a date to hear prosecutors’ arguments that the former president should face a punishment after he allegedly violated a gag order.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan agreed to hear arguments on April 23 regarding the prosecutors’ claims that Trump should be sanctioned after sharing at least three social media posts over the weekend that were allegedly in violation of the gag order, according to the Washington Examiner.

As the criminal trial began, which centers around alleged hush money payments that Trump made to adult entertainment star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election, prosecutors from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office claimed they knew the former president was “aware” of the gag order due to “various posts” he made.

“The defendant is aware of the April 1 order,” Assistant District Attorney Chris Conroy told Merchan. “We know that from various posts he had made.”

Conroy requested that Trump be fined $1,000 for each post made and be reminded that he could face jail time for continuing to violate the gag order.

On March 26, Merchan issued a gag order against Trump which bars the former president from speaking out publicly against witnesses and counsel in the case, except for Bragg.

The order also prevents Trump from making public comments about court staff or about Bragg, as well as family members of court staff or even Bragg’s staff.

Among the posts that the prosecutors used as examples was one in which Trump thanked Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for Daniels, for “revealing the truth about two sleaze bags.”

Another post the prosecutors referenced was one in which Trump posted a photo of a statement from Daniels in 2018 in which she denied having an affair with Trump. Daniels reportedly later recanted the statement.


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