Trump Ordered To Appear in Manhattan Criminal Case to be ‘Schooled’ On Use of Evidence


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Former President Donald Trump must appear before a Manhattan judge regarding his criminal case in order to be “schooled” on a previous ruling barring him from using evidence in the case to attack witnesses.

“Judge Juan Manuel Merchan scheduled the hybrid hearing — the former president on a TV screen, his lawyers and prosecutors in court — to go over the restrictions with Trump and to make clear that he risks being held in contempt if he violates them,” NBC News reported on Friday.

Despite Trump’s legal team attempting to have the case moved to federal court, the proceedings are currently ongoing in state court. U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, who is deliberating on the transfer request, recently issued an order outlining deadlines for paperwork submission and scheduled a hearing for late June, the outlet reported.

In its headline for the story, NBC News claimed that Trump would be “schooled” by Merchan regarding the prohibition.

Merchan, who remains in charge of the case in the meantime, has agreed to provide instructions to Trump regarding the rules through a video session instead of an in-person appearance. This decision came after a prosecutor highlighted the immense security and logistical challenges involved in bringing Trump to court.


During Trump’s arraignment on April 4, he entered a plea of not guilty to 34 felony charges of falsifying business records. The event drew significant attention from the media and protesters, resulting in crowded conditions. As a consequence, multiple street closures were implemented, extra security screenings were conducted, and non-Trump court proceedings were suspended for an afternoon, NBC News noted further.

“We’ll set up the camera for Mr. Trump to appear wherever he is at that time, and we’ll do it here in the courtroom virtually,” Merchan said.

The report notes further:

Merchan’s protective order bars Trump and his lawyers from disseminating evidence to third parties or posting it to social media, and it requires that certain, sensitive material shared by prosecutors be kept only by Trump’s lawyers, not Trump himself. Trump can review that material with his lawyers, but can’t copy or photograph it, the order said.

Merchan, noting Trump’s “special” status as a former president and current candidate, made clear at last week’s hearing that the protective order shouldn’t be construed as a gag order or a way of preventing Trump from speaking publicly about the case.

“I’m bending over backwards and straining to make sure that he is given every opportunity possible to advance his candidacy and to be able to speak in furtherance of his candidacy,” Merchan said. “The last thing I want to do is infringe on his or anybody else’s First Amendment rights.”

Merchan issued his order last week.

“Merchan largely sided with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg by limiting what Trump can publicly disclose about new evidence from the prosecution before the case goes to trial,” NBC News reported at the time.

The order says that “any materials and information provided by the People to the Defense in accordance with their discovery obligations … shall be used solely for the purposes of preparing a defense in this matter.”

The order adds that anyone with access to the evidence being turned over to Trump’s team by state prosecutors “shall not copy, disseminate or disclose” the material to third parties, including social media platforms, “without prior approval from the court.”

It also singles out Trump, saying he is allowed to review sensitive “Limited Dissemination Materials” from prosecutors only in the presence of his lawyers and “shall not be permitted to copy, photograph, transcribe, or otherwise independently possess the Limited Dissemination Materials.”

The judge’s order also restricts Trump from reviewing “forensic images of witness cell phones,” although his lawyers can show him “approved portions” of the images after they get permission from the judge.

Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 charges regarding allegations that he falsified business records related to adult film star Stormy Daniels’ hush-money case.


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