Hush Money Case: The former president of the US, Donald Trump, is accused of falsifying company documents in connection with a 2016 hush money transaction with porn star Stormy Daniels, and a court on Monday blocked him from making evidence and other materials relevant to a criminal proceeding against him in New York public.
Trump was also prohibited by Judge Juan Merchan from examining the case’s material in any other setting than with his attorneys present. The content cannot be copied by the former president.
The Manhattan District Attorney‘s Office requested the protective order out of worry that Trump may use the information “inappropriately” or post it somewhere else, including on social media.
Trump pleads not guilty in the hush money case
At an appearance the previous week in the Supreme Court of the state of New York, a prosecutor described that danger as “substantial.” That request, which refers to “discovery material,” or the papers, letters, and other things that opposing sides submitted in a court case exchange before trial, was rebuffed by Trump’s attorneys.
Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, was charged last month and appeared in court. He entered a not-guilty plea.
Trump’s track record of attacking individuals
Not long prior to the 2016 presidential election, his former attorney Michael Cohen gave Daniels, whose true identity is Stephanie Clifford, an amount of $130,000 for keeping quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump years previously.
Trump claims not to have had sexual activities with Daniels, but he paid Cohen back for the money, which was listed in company papers as being for legal costs.
Assistant District Attorney Catherine McCaw stated this in the prosecution’s motion to obtain a preventive order: “Donald John Trump is known for his long-standing and possibly singular track record of targeting potential witnesses, the authorities, the prosecution, trial jury members, grand jury members, judicial officials, and others who are associated with the lawsuits aimed at himself, bringing the people involved as well as their family members at notable safety risk.”
Trump’s Social Media restriction on hush money case
In his decision from Monday, Merchan stated that all information supplied to Trump’s attorneys by the DA’s office “shall be put to use exclusively for the objective of formulating a defense in this matter.”
Any individual whoever acquires such covered information is forbidden to replicate, distribute, or publish the obtained resources, in any manner whatsoever or via means of any kind, to any outside party,” Merchan wrote. This prohibition includes publishing the information on social media. The protective order was approved by Judge Juan Merchan and states that news outlets or social networking platforms, including but not limited to Truth Social, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or YouTube, may not share or post any evidence in the case that has been turned over without the prior consent of the Court.
The judge also ordered a delay in releasing the full names and identifiable details of any DA workers involved in the case—aside from sworn law enforcement officers, assistant DAs, and expert witnesses—until jury selection had begun.