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New York Judge Juan Merchan has imposed a gag order on former President Donald Trump before his Manhattan criminal hush-money trial next month. The order was issued in response to a motion by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to prevent Trump from publicly discussing jurors and witnesses involved in the investigation. Merchan also prohibited Trump from making public statements about the D.A.’s staff, except for Bragg himself, court staff members, and family members of any counsel or staff member, if those statements are intended to interfere with the case.

The latest gag order was issued on the same day that Trump criticized the judge and his daughter on Truth Social, despite the D.A.’s motion being filed weeks earlier. This is not the first time Trump has faced a gag order from a judge. The previous judge overseeing Trump’s New York civil fraud trial had imposed a similar order after the former president attacked the judge’s principal clerk. Legal experts believe Judge Merchan is prepared to enforce the gag order if Trump violates it, especially after a jury is in place for the trial.

Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman commented on Twitter that Judge Merchan is very focused on the upcoming trial of voter deception and has imposed a significant gag order on Trump. Litman praised the judge for being ready to enforce the order if Trump disregards it, especially once a jury is selected.

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