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Tipsheet

Judge Places Some Restrictions on Trump's Social Media Use

The New York judge overseeing the hush money case against Donald Trump issued a protective order Monday placing some limits on the former president’s social media use. 

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According to the order, Trump cannot post about some evidence in the case on “any news or social media platforms, including, but not limited, to Truth Social, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, or YouTube, without prior approval from the Court.” 

Judge Juan 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.

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."

Merchan's order said 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."

In addition, the order 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. (NBC)

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Prosecutors sought the protective order over what they argued is Trump’s “extensive history” of controversial remarks about those associated with legal matters against him. 

Merchan was clear, however, that he was “not close” to issuing a gag order and that Trump can generally speak about the case, particularly since he is a candidate for president. 

"I'm straining to give him every opportunity to make his candidacy," Merchan during last week's hearing. "This is not a gag order."

 

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