Prosecutors Urge Immediate Halt to Trump's Attacks on Judge's Daughter

Prosecutors Urge Immediate Halt to Trump’s Attacks on Judge’s Daughter

In a letter to the judge, Manhattan district attorney’s attorneys requested that Judge Juan Merchan explain the case’s limited gag order and “direct that defendant immediately desist from attacks on family members,” following the former president’s social media attacks on the daughter of the judge supervising his New York hush money case two days earlier.

The letter, which was delivered to the judge on Thursday, stated, “[T]his Court should make abundantly clear that the March 26 Order protects family members of the Court, the District Attorney, and all other individuals mentioned in the Order.”

“Furthermore, the Court should warn defendant that his recent conduct is contumacious” — i.e., stubbornly or willfully disobedient — “and direct him to immediately desist,” the letter stated.

Merchan issued a limited gag order on Tuesday that forbade Trump from mentioning jurors, attorneys, court employees, and their families, in addition to prospective witnesses in the case.

Trump was allowed to carry on with his public remarks regarding Judge Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg by the decision.

The next day, Trump angrily denounced the gag order on his social media account and attacked Merchan’s daughter for a remark on social media that a court official claimed she did not make.

“So, let me get this straight, the Judge’s daughter is allowed to post pictures of her ‘dream’ of putting me in jail, the Manhattan D.A. is able to say whatever lies about me he wants, the Judge can violate our Laws and Constitution at every turn, but I am not allowed to talk about the attacks against me,” Trump wrote.

The alleged message from the judge’s daughter was later described by court officials as a “manipulation of an account she long ago abandoned.”

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass requested in writing from Merchan an explanation of the gag order in light of Trump’s mention of Merchan’s daughter on Thursday.

“The People believe that the March 26 Order is properly read to protect family members of the Court. But to avoid any doubt, this Court should now clarify or confirm that the Order protects family members of the Court, the District Attorney, and all other individuals mentioned in the Order,” as per the letter.

According to Steinglass, Trump’s post may have an impact on witnesses’ willingness to testify before the trial on April 15 because “multiple potential witnesses” have voiced “gave concern” about their safety.

In response to the request, Todd Blanche, Trump’s defense lawyer, said that the rules of the limited gag order, which do not specifically forbid remarks about Merchan’s family, allowed Trump to post.

“The express terms of the gag order do not apply in the manner claimed by the People,” Blanche said in a letter. “Contrary to the People’s suggestion, the Court cannot ‘direct’ President Trump to do something that the gag order does not require.”

In April of last year, Trump entered a not guilty plea to a 34-count indictment that accused him of fabricating business documents in relation to a hush money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels by his former attorney, Michael Cohen, a few days prior to the 2016 presidential election.

The trial’s jury selection process is set to begin in New York City on April 15. All wrongdoing has been denied by the former president.