Trump instructed by Prosecutors to stop targeting the judge’s daughter promptly

Two days after former President Donald Trump targeted the daughter of the judge overseeing his New York hush money case on social media, Manhattan district attorney’s lawyers have asked Judge Juan Merchan to clarify the case’s limited gag order and “direct that defendant immediately desist from attacks on family members,” according to a letter sent to the judge.

“[T]his Court should make abundantly clear that the March 26 Order protects family members of the Court, the District Attorney, and all other individuals mentioned in the Order,” stated the letter, which was sent to the judge Thursday.

“Furthermore, the Court should warn the defendant that his recent conduct is contumacious” — that is, stubbornly or willfully rebellious — “and direct him to immediately desist,” the letter stated.

Merchan issued a limited gag order on Tuesday, preventing Trump from making any comments about prospective witnesses in the case, jurors, lawyers, court officials, or their families. The order allowed Trump to continue making public statements about Judge Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The next day, Trump screamed against the gag order on his social media platform, blaming Merchan’s daughter for a social media post that a court official confirmed she did not make.

Trump instructed by Prosecutors to stop targeting the judge's daughter promptly

“So, let me get this straight, the Judge’s daughter is allowed to post pictures of her ‘dream’ of putting me in jail, the Manhattan D.A. is able to say whatever lies about me he wants, the Judge can violate our Laws and Constitution at every turn, but I am not allowed to talk about the attacks against me,” Trump wrote in a statement.

Court officials later stated that the alleged post by the judge’s daughter was a “manipulation of an account she long ago abandoned.”

In a letter delivered on Thursday, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass urged Merchan to clarify the gag order in light of Trump’s remark about Merchan’s daughter.

“The People think that the March 26 Order was properly read to safeguard the Court’s family members. However, to avoid any misunderstanding, this Court should immediately explain or confirm that the Order covers the Court’s family members, the District Attorney, and all other individuals named in the Order,” the letter stated.

According to Steinglass, “multiple potential witnesses” have voiced “gave concern” about their safety, and Trump’s post may influence witness involvement ahead of the April 15 trial.

“That is, potential trial witnesses and prospective jurors who are not currently the subject of defendant’s invective will likely fear having themselves and their family members be subject to similar attacks,” according to the letter. “This fear is not hypothetical: in the course of preparing for trial, multiple potential witnesses have already expressed grave concerns to the People about their own safety and that of their family members should they appear as witnesses against the defendant.”

Todd Blanche, Trump’s defense attorney, responded to the request by contending that Trump’s posts were authorized under the terms of the restricted gag order, which does not expressly prohibit anything regarding Merchan’s family.

“The express terms of the gag order do not apply in the manner claimed by the People,” she said. “Contrary to the People’s suggestion, the Court cannot ‘direct’ President Trump to do something that the gag order does not require.”

Last April, Trump pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment accusing him of falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment made by his then-attorney Michael Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election.

Jury selection for the trial is set to begin April 15 in New York City. The previous president has denied any wrongdoing.

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