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Bragg May Seek Gag Order As Trump Prepares Mar-a-Lago Event After Arraignment

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump might not be able to talk about the most significant development of his 2024 presidential campaign starting this week.

Trump was indicted late last week by a Manhattan grand jury in a case involving his purported role in hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, allegedly to keep Daniels quiet about an affair the two of them had in 2006.

Trump is expected in court on Tuesday and reportedly planned to speak from his Mar-a-Lego estate in Florida later that day. However, District Attorney Alvin Bragg is likely going to seek a gag order, which would prevent the former president from speaking about the case.

“I think it’s not only a possibility, but there will likely be a gag order in the case,” Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor with the Department of Justice, told Insider. “Gag orders are very common in criminal cases, particularly where there is an enormous amount of pretrial publicity like this one.”

If the judge issues a gag order and Trump violates it, the punishment for criminal contempt under New York law is a fine not exceeding $1,000, jail for up to 30 days, or both.

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Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the state will not cooperate with any request to extradite Donald Trump after the former president was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury.

“The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American,” DeSantis tweeted.

“The Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent. Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda,” he added.

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz delivered a big update last week after he had a phone call with Trump.

During an interview on Fox News, Gaetz and host Laura Ingraham spoke about Trump being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury.

“We will wake up in a very different America because we can no longer have moral authority against the dictators who would always find it easier to jail their political rivals than to compete against them in free and fair elections. I remember my Democrat colleagues about Comey making derogatory comments about Clinton before the election. This must ring a thousand times louder to them. I believe there are federal equities at play that the United States Congress is about to evaluate,” Gaetz added.

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“We don’t want to resolve differences through violence but the Chinese communist party can pay every grifter but Donald Trump can’t pay Stormy Daniels without a legal dispute. There’s a legal element that’s not met by any evidence. They would have to prove that Donald Trump would have no reason other than the election to try to resolve this issue with Stormy Daniels privately and outside of the public sphere. I think a motion to dismiss will happen next. If this were ever to be tried, you could not do it in Manhattan. You would see a change of venue in upstate New York. Maybe it’s the only place Donald Trump could get a fair trial. I expect this will be resolved well before that by any court that looks at the way that the law is being tortured in the absence of any charge that would be maintainable against any human being on the Planet Earth other than Donald Trump and against Trump it’s clearly political,” he concluded.

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Many other Republicans issued strong statements in support of Trump.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz responded: “The Democrat Party’s hatred for Donald Trump knows no bounds. The ‘substance’ of this political persecution is utter garbage. This is completely unprecedented and is a catastrophic escalation in the weaponization of the justice system.”

Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley said: “Tonight’s indictment of Donald Trump isn’t about the law. It’s about power. Raw power. It’s the Democrat Party telling the nation they will stop at nothing to control the outcome of the next presidential election. It is an assault on our democracy, pure and simple.”

Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and 2024 GOP presidential candidate, tweeted: “From everything I have seen from this New York district attorney is that this would be something he’d be doing for political points. I think what we know is, when you get into political prosecutions like this, it’s more about revenge than it is about justice.”

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