Donald Trump violated gag order in attack on judge’s daughter, allege prosecutors

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Prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office have requested an extension of the gag order in the upcoming criminal trial of former US President Donald Trump.

FILE PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump attends the 2024 Senior Club Championship award ceremony at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. March 24, 2024. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump attends the 2024 Senior Club Championship award ceremony at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. March 24, 2024. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo/File Photo(REUTERS)

The charges implicate financing hush payments to a porn star prior to the 2016 polls. The prosecutors claim Trump committed a violation (of the present gag order) by reminding a judge’s daughter about a recent social media post. It is they that impose sanctions on him for future offences.

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If Trump ‘continues to disregard such orders, he should face sanctions under judiciary law’

In a letter to New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, the prosecutors emphasized, “The court should warn defendant that his recent conduct is contumacious and direct him to immediately desist. If defendant continues to disregard such orders, he should face sanctions under judiciary law.”

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The controversy centres around a post Trump made on his Truth Social platform. He accused the judge’s daughter of using a photo of him behind bars as her profile picture for her X account, claiming that it “makes it completely impossible for me to get a fair trial”. However, the account in question appears bogus, as the judge’s daughter, Lauren Merchan, had already deleted it. Someone else had taken over the account and used the photo.

Judge denies any involvement

While the judge formally announces that neither he nor his family is the source behind the Twitter account, Trump and his supporters still claim that he and his daughter are part of the account, soothe the suspicions that the whole family is biased.

Her problematic relationship with the judge’s daughter also stems from the fact that she is the company executive of Authentic, the political agency which advises Democratic candidates. Trump had previously attempted, unsuccessfully, to have the judge removed because of his daughter’s professional affiliations.

The judge’s decision on whether Trump violated the gag order remains uncertain. The order was issued after Merchan rebuked Trump for making threatening, inflammatory, and denigrating statements about the case ahead of the trial, scheduled to begin on April 15.

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Under the order, Trump is prohibited from making public statements about trial witnesses, including their roles in the investigation and trial. This restriction applies not only to Trump himself but also to others who might act on his behalf, including prosecutors and court staff.

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