A judge expanded a gag order against former President Donald Trump in his New York criminal trial on Monday after Trump had criticized the judge and his daughter in a series of social media posts.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was indicted by Democratic District Attorney Alvin Bragg of New York County on charges related to the alleged falsification of business records to conceal an alleged “hush money” payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. On Monday, Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the trial, expanded an existing “gag” order against Trump — precluding him from making public statements about the case — after he attacked Merchan’s daughter in a post on Truth Social. (RELATED: Alvin Bragg Pushes Judge To ‘Clarify Or Extend’ Gag Order Against Trump)

“The conventional ‘David vs. Goliath’ roles are no longer in play, as demonstrated by the singular power Defendant’s words have on countless others,” wrote Merchan in his four-page ruling. “The average observer, must now, after hearing Defendant’s recent attacks, draw the conclusion that if they become involved in these proceedings, even tangentially, they should worry not only for themselves, but for their loved ones as well. Such concerns will undoubtedly interfere with the fair administration of justice and constitutes a direct attack on the Rule of Law itself.”

Order Regarding Extrajudicial Statements, People v. Trump, No. 71543-23 (N.Y.S. Apr. 1, 2024) by Daily Caller News Foundation on Scribd

Trump criticized Merchan’s daughter for allegedly posting criticism of him on social media platforms, though the New York State Unified Courts system later clarified that the account was misattributed to her.

“The X, formerly Twitter, account being attributed to Judge Merchan’s daughter no longer belongs to her,” said Al Baker, the spokesman for the New York State Office of Court Administration, according to The New York Times. “It is not linked to her email address, nor has she posted under that screen name since she deleted the account. Rather, it represents the reconstitution, last April, and manipulation of an account she long ago abandoned.”

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