A New York judge just effectively silenced former President Donald Trump from posting certain information about hush money case brought against him by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.
According to the Washington Examiner, State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan banned the former president from being able to "copy, disseminate or disclose" information related to evidence in the ongoing case against him.
The outlet noted:
Trump can review “limited” materials “in the presence of defense counsel, but defendant shall not be permitted to copy, photograph, transcribe or otherwise independently possess the evidence," according to the judge’s order.
The protective order also prohibits Trump from posting any of that kind of information on social media or news platforms.
Social media reacted fiercely to the news.
"GAGGED: For the first time in U.S. history, a judge has ruled that a Republican candidate for president can't refute claims leaked by Democrat prosecutors. President Biden is free to make any claim he wishes publicly and Trump cannot respond," one user tweeted.
GAGGED: For the first time in U.S. history, a judge has ruled that a Republican candidate for president can't refute claims leaked by Democrat prosecutors. President Biden is free to make any claim he wishes publicly and Trump cannot respond. https://t.co/OXdg1buwdN
— @amuse (@amuse) May 8, 2023
Trump prohibited from posting evidence in hush money case to social media, judge rules
"Judge Juan Merchan largely sided with a request from the Manhattan district attorney's office regarding what Trump can publicly say about certain aspects of the case," another user added.
Others accused the judge of blatant election interference, given that Trump is a declared Republican presidential candidate who might have to respond to certain claims related to the case as a part of his campaign.
The issue is legally murky, at best.
But it would be unwise to bet against Trump's legal team doing everything it can to reverse such an order, especially as it crosses into politics in a significant fashion.
The Examiner noted how the order came about:
Prosecutors in April sought a protective order against Trump, claiming Trump made threatening and derogatory public statements about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and the case. Bragg also cited Trump's history of attacking prosecutors online as a reason for the order.
Only time will tell if the protective order sticks, or if Trump will test the waters.