Watergate prosecutor calls Trump order ‘so unusual’
Watergate prosecutor calls Trump order ‘so unusual’

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Nick Ackerman, a former Watergate prosecutor, said that in his 50 years in the law, he had never seen a gag order like the one imposed on former President Trump in his hush money case this week.

New York Judge Juan Murchan issued the blocking order on Tuesday following a request by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

“This is so unusual,” Ackerman told CNN’s Frederica Whitfield on Wednesday. “This has never happened in over 50 years of practicing law, both as a prosecutor and defense attorney.

He added: “It hasn’t been done, and the reason it hasn’t been done is that once you start disrespecting the judge, demeaning people in the courtroom, you’re putting yourself in danger because that’s the judge who’s going to sentence you. “


Trump speaks

A judge has issued a restraining order against former President Trump in his hush money case. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Ackerman added that Trump is “the only one I’ve ever seen do this and do it in such an outrageous way that it really forced the courts — where does the First Amendment stop and where do we need a ban to protect a judicial system?”

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has been highly critical of the judge, calling the gag order “illegal, un-American, unconstitutional,” saying Murchan is “wrongfully trying to strip me of my First Amendment right to speak out against guns of law enforcement.”

Trump even suggested the warrant was related to Murchan’s grown daughter’s work as president of a political consulting firm.

Trump in front of an American flag

Trump called the order “illegal.”

“Judge Juan Murchan, who suffers from an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome (whose daughter represents Crooked Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Adam “Shifty” Schiff and other radical liberals, just posted a photo of me behind bars, her apparent target and makes it completely impossible for me to receive a fair trial) has now issued another illegal, un-American, unconstitutional ‘order’ as he continues to try to strip me of my rights,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.


Alvin Bragg with glasses

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg requested the gag order. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

In issuing the order, the judge cited Trump’s “prior out-of-court statements,” saying they established a “sufficient risk to the administration of justice.”

Murchan ordered that Trump cannot make or direct others to make public statements about witnesses about their potential involvement or about a lawyer in the case — other than Bragg — or about court staff, prosecutorial staff or family members of the staff.

Murchan also ordered that Trump cannot make or direct others to make public statements about any prospective juror or juror selection.

Murchan said in his ruling that Trump has made statements in the past during other trials — possibly referring to the months-long nonjury civil fraud trial stemming from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case.

“In fact, his statements were threatening, inflammatory, defamatory, and the targets of his statements ranged from local and federal officials, court and judicial officers, prosecutors and caseworkers, and private individuals, including grand jurors, performing their civic duty.” Murchan writes. “The consequences of these statements include not only fear on the part of the individual being attacked, but also the deployment of increased security resources to investigate threats and protect individuals and their family members.”

Ackerman later added to X, Trump’s “unprecedented pattern of ignoring and threatening judges, prosecutors and witnesses is self-defeating and makes it more likely that he will end up in court.”

Former Acting US Attorney General Matt Whittaker, who served under Trump, told Fox News, “I think these orders are very dangerous … The First Amendment is pretty broad in protecting our right to speak and express our opinions, and I think , that ultimately this judge will have to proceed very carefully.”


Two other restraining orders have been issued against Trump in recent months.

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Syngman and Maria Paronic contributed to this report.

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