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Expanded Gag Order Imposed on Trump, but Death Threats Persist

Donald Trump (Credits: Lincoln Journal Star)

Last week, Judge Juan Merchan initiated a gag order preventing former President Donald Trump from speaking negatively about potential witnesses and other individuals related to his upcoming hush-money trial in New York.

However, Trump swiftly targeted Merchan’s daughter with unfounded claims, demonstrating a loophole in the order that initially didn’t extend to the families of the prosecutor and the judge.

Responding to Trump’s actions, Merchan broadened the gag order to include family members, citing Trump’s history of targeting relatives of legal and judicial figures involved in his cases as a tactic that only serves to instill fear in those participating in the trial.

Donald J. Trump (Credits: WTOP)

This behavior by Trump isn’t new. Similar patterns of personal attacks followed by threats to those involved have been noted across various legal proceedings against him. District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Judge Merchan, for instance, have been subjected to harsh rhetoric and threats due to Trump’s public remarks.

At the end of Trump’s New York state business fraud trial, a bomb threat was called in targeting Judge Arthur Engoron’s residence, which was preceded by repeated public criticisms from Trump and his team. Engoron’s gag order to halt these attacks was openly defied by Trump, leading to a monetary penalty.

Trump’s history of attacking judicial figures dates back to at least 2016, when he criticized Judge Gonzalo Curiel, overseeing the Trump University class-action lawsuit, for alleged bias due to his Mexican heritage.

Donald J Trump (Credits: CNN)

The repercussions of Trump’s attacks extend beyond mere words. Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office, managing Trump’s election interference and classified documents cases, reported spending $14.6 million on security measures within six months last year due to threats.

In Georgia, where Trump faces legal scrutiny, District Attorney Fani Willis and her family have been forced to relocate multiple times for safety reasons. The intense scrutiny and threats have even deterred potential prosecutors, as former Governor Roy Barnes declined to lead Trump’s prosecution in Georgia, citing concerns over personal safety.

As Trump’s first criminal trial approaches on April 15, it’s crucial to recognize the real-world impacts on those involved in the proceedings. The heightened security risks and personal threats against judges, prosecutors, witnesses, and their families underscore the tense atmosphere surrounding these high-profile cases.

Judge Merchan’s revised gag order reflects a stark reality: the threat to the judicial process’s integrity is not hypothetical but palpably real, impacting the lives of those seeking to uphold the law.

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