Former President Trump is set to appear virtually in a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday to hear an order restricting him from posting on social media about some evidence in his felony hush money case.
New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan issued the order on May 8, siding with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, though the judge’s order only applies to evidence obtained by the prosecution and turned over to Trump to prepare for trial.
Merchan’s order dictates that “any materials and information provided by the People to the Defense in accordance with their discovery obligations…shall be used solely for the purposes of preparing a defense in this matter.”
The order also singles out Trump, saying he may review “Limited Dissemination Materials” from the prosecution only in the presences of his lawyer. Further he “shall not be permitted to copy, photograph, transcribe, or otherwise independently possess the Limited Dissemination Materials.”
Trump’s legal team have slammed the order, claiming it is “a muzzle” on the former President, who is running for reelection in 2024. However, Judge Merchan stopped short of issuing a full gag order, which would have barred Trump entirely from speaking about the case.
A week prior to issuing the order Merchan said he wasn’t going to do anything “to infringe on [Trump’s] First Amendment rights.”
On April 4, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and conspiracy related to his role in hush money payments during the 2016 campaign season.
Merchan has asked Trump’s defense attorneys and prosecutors to see if they can agree on a trial date in February or March 2024.