A Manhattan judge on Monday gave a gag order to former President Donald Trump, a device to legally stop him from discussing parts of New York’s criminal investigation in public.
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While the prosecution and the judge have disputed that characterization, even the liberal media are calling it a gag order
In the U.S., a court can order any involved parties from speaking to a third party about a case. However, a court cannot prevent a third party from reporting on a case.
The order prevents either Trump or the prosecutors from discussing the case on “any news or social media platforms, including, but not limited, to Truth Social, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, or YouTube, without prior approval from the Court.”
As president, Trump became known as a frequent tweeter. However, Twitter banned him during his final month as president. The company reversed the ban last year after coming under new management, but Trump had already imposed some restrictions on his own Twitter usage by starting his own TruthSocial media company.
On TruthSocial, Trump has previously railed against Judge Merchan, an appointee of former Democratic Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Trump has reportedly accused the judge’s wife of being “anti-Trump,” and he’s said that the judge “HATES ME.”
Judge Merhcan also presided over Trump’s arraignment last month. He said at the time that he would not grant a gag order, regardless of the prosecution’s requests.
The judge reportedly affirmed the former president’s First Amendment liberties, but he also sympathized with concerns about social media’s possible effect on the jury.
Trump’s legal team petitioned Thursday to transfer the case to federal court. They argued that the case “involves important federal questions” and shouldn’t be tried in the state court where his historic indictment was brought.
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Such requests are rarely granted in criminal cases, but Trump’s request is unprecedented because he’s the first former president ever charged with a crime.
Trump stands accused of falsely labeling $130,000 in hush money as a legal expense. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all 34 charges.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.