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Appeals Court Upholds Gag Order on Trump in Manhattan Trial

LocalAppeals Court Upholds Gag Order on Trump in Manhattan Trial

A New York State appeals court on Tuesday upheld a gag order imposed on former President Donald J. Trump in his criminal trial in Manhattan, rejecting arguments that the measure had violated Mr. Trump’s First Amendment rights.

The judge overseeing the trial, Juan M. Merchan, initially issued the order in March, barring Mr. Trump from threatening many participants in the proceeding, including jurors, witnesses, line prosecutors and staff members of the court. The order does not cover the judge himself or Alvin K. Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, who brought the case against the former president.

Since then, Justice Merchan has twice held Mr. Trump in contempt for violating the order, imposing $10,000 in fines. The judge has also warned Mr. Trump that if he continues to break the rules, he could face time in jail.

In its decision Tuesday, a five-judge panel of the appeals court wrote that Justice Merchan had “properly determined” that Mr. Trump’s “public statements posed a significant threat to the integrity of the testimony of witnesses and potential witnesses in this case.”

The decision also found that Justice Merchan had properly weighed Mr. Trump’s free speech rights against the court’s “commitment to ensuring the fair administration of justice in criminal cases” and the rights of people connected to the case “from being free from threats, intimidation, harassment and harm.”

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