A judge has barred the former president Donald Trump from releasing evidence or other materials related to an ongoing criminal case against him. He is accused of falsifying records relating to a payment made to pornstar Stormy Daniels to cover up a hush-money payment.
The Judge Juan Merchan has also prohibited Trump from viewing the evidence in his case without the presence of one of his attorneys, and he cannot copy it.
Manhattan District Attorney's Office sought the protective order due to fears that Trump might "inappropriately use" them or post information on social media.
Former President Barack Obama was barred by a judge on Monday
Evidence and other materials related to an pending lawsuit cannot be made public.
case against him in
He is accused of falsifying records relating to a 2016
Payment to Porn Star
The judge also prohibited Trump from viewing the evidence outside of the presence his lawyers. The material is only available to the ex-president in person.
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Manhattan District Attorney's Office
The order was sought because Trump was concerned that the material would be used "inappropriately", or the information posted on social media.
At a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing held last week, a prosecutor called this risk "substantial".
Trump's attorneys had refused that request. It relates to the so-called "discovery material", which is documents, correspondence, and other items exchanged by opposing parties before a trial.
Trump, the Republican nominee for 2024, was charged in court in this case last month. He has pleaded innocent.
Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, paid Daniels $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election to keep her quiet over an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.
Trump denies that he had sex Daniels but Cohen was reimbursed for the payment, which in records claimed to be legal expenses.
In the prosecution motion for a protection order, assistant DA Catherine McCaw stated, "Donald J. Trump is known to have a longstanding history of attacking witnesses and other individuals involved in legal proceedings. This puts these people and their families in danger."
Merchan wrote in his Monday order that any material provided to Trump's attorneys by the DA’s office "shall only be used for the purpose of preparing a defence in this case."
Merchan wrote that "Anyone who receives Covered Materials may not copy, distribute, or disclose Covered Materials to any third parties, in any format or by any method." This includes posting material on social media websites.
The judge said that the names and identifying details of DA staff in the case (other than sworn law enforcement officers, assistant DAs, and expert witnesses) would be held until after jury selection.