Manhattan DA asks for gag order clarification after Trump names judge’s daughter on social media

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Manhattan prosecutors are asking a judge to clarify a gag order imposed on former President Donald Trump, following social media posts by the former commander-in-chief that criticized the judge’s daughter. 

In a letter dated Friday to New York Judge Juan Merchan, prosecutors asked the judge to clarify if the order protects family members of the court, district attorney’s office and other individuals. They asked the court to direct Trump to end attacks on family members after he went on a fiery rant on Truth Social and called out Merchan’s daughter by name. 

He suggested that Merchan was kowtowing to his daughter’s interests as a Democratic political consultant. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, claimed the judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan, whose firm has worked on campaigns for President Joe Biden and other Democrats, had recently posted a photo on social media depicting her “obvious goal” of seeing him jailed.

TRUMP SLAMS BRAGG AFTER PLEADING NOT GUILTY: ‘I NEVER THOUGHT ANYTHING LIKE THIS COULD HAPPEN IN AMERICA’

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan criminal court to attend a pre-trial hearing, Monday, March 25, 2024, in New York.  A judge will weigh in on Monday when the former president will go on trial. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool)

“Judge Juan Merchan is totally compromised, and should be removed from this TRUMP Non-Case immediately,” he wrote Thursday. “His Daughter, Loren, is a Rabid Trump Hater, who has admitted to having conversations with her father about me, and yet he gagged me.”

The Manhattan prosecutors said that witnesses and prospective jurors could likely fear similar attacks. They asked Merchan “to make it abundantly clear” who is protected by the gag order, to warn Trump about his conduct and sanction him if he violates the gag order.

MANHATTAN DA BRAGG REQUESTS JUDGE IMPOSE GAG ORDER ON TRUMP DURING HUSH MONEY CASE

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a news conference on Thursday, March 7, 2024, in Manhattan, New York. (Barry Williams/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Trump’s legal team responded with a letter saying the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is misinterpreting the order.

“The Court cannot ‘direct’ President Trump to do something that the gag order does not require,” the letter said. “To ‘clarify or confirm’ the meaning of the gag order in the way the People suggest would be to expand it.”

The gag order bars Trump from either making or directing other people to make public statements on his behalf about jurors and potential witnesses in the hush-money trial, such as his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and porn star Stormy Daniels. It also prohibits any statements meant to interfere with or harass the court’s staff, prosecution team or their families.

Former president Donald Trump departs The Trump Building, located at 40 Wall Street, in Manhattan

Former President Donald Trump waves as he departs The Trump Building on Monday. On Friday, prosecutors asked a New York judge to clarify a gag order imposed on Trump after he called out the judge’s daughter by name in a social media post.  (Adam Gray for Fox News Digital)

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Judge Merchan is presiding over Trump’s upcoming trial in which he is accused of making hush-money payments during his 2016 presidential campaign. He pleaded not guilty last April to 34 counts of falsifying business records,

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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