After Storm of Threats, Bragg's Office Makes an Ask

Prosecutors ask judge to keep much of Trump gag order in place in hush-money case till sentencing
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2024 9:00 AM CDT
Bragg Asks to Keep Trump Gag Order Alive
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks to the media after a jury found Donald Trump guilty on 34 felony counts on May 30 in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Manhattan's district attorney has asked the judge who oversaw Donald Trump's hush-money trial to extend the former president's gag order, with modifications. The Guardian notes that the gag order, which Trump's circle has long pushed back on, was placed on Trump before his felony trial kicked off, barring him from spouting off on witnesses, court staff, jurors, and family members of New York County Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan. But on Friday, prosecutors with Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's office filed paperwork asking Merchan to keep much of the gag order in place ahead of Trump's July 11 sentencing, due to what the New York Times calls a "deluge of threats" that Bragg's team says they've endured.

  • Gag order: The DA's prosecutors say in their 19-page filing that they're OK with taking out the gag order provision protecting witnesses, now that Trump has been convicted. However, they still want the order in place to protect everyone else originally covered. As it stands now, Trump isn't prohibited from verbally attacking Merchan or Bragg themselves.

  • Threats: An affidavit with the filing notes that the NYPD has received about 60 "actionable threats" against the DA, his family, and his staff since the beginning of April. One such post showed the home address of a Bragg employee. The New York Daily News says it saw upward of 100 threats that came in via Bragg's campaign website, with messages hurling racist slurs at him. One threat showed a picture of a noose with Bragg's face next to it, with the caption, "I am past the point of just wanting them in prison."
  • Threats II: Prosecutors said in their filing that the threats noted by the NYPD didn't even include the "hundreds" of harassing phone calls and emails sent Bragg's way, per the Times. Bragg's team added in the filing that the threats received were "directly connected to [Trump's] dangerous rhetoric."
  • Team Trump's take: "Now that the trial is concluded, the concerns articulated by the government and the Court do not justify continued restrictions on the First Amendment rights" of Trump, his defense attorneys wrote earlier this month, per the AP.
  • Bragg: The DA hasn't commented on Friday's gag order request, but a source said to be close to Bragg is speaking up. "These hateful and constant attempts to intimidate and harass Alvin are frightening," the source tells the Daily News. "But I know Alvin is not deterred from doing his job."
(More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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