Gag Order Against Trump Is Expanded to Stop Attacks on Judge’s Family

The New York judge overseeing Donald J. Trump’s upcoming criminal trial expanded an existing gag order on Monday to bar the former president from attacking the judge’s family members, who in recent days have become the target of Mr. Trump’s abuse.

Justice Juan M. Merchan last week issued an order prohibiting Mr. Trump from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, jurors and court staff, as well as their relatives. That order, however, did not cover Justice Merchan himself or the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, who brought the criminal case against the former president.

And although the ruling issued on Monday still does not apply to the judge or the district attorney, Justice Merchan, granting a request from Mr. Bragg’s office, amended the gag order so that it does now cover their families.

Mr. Bragg’s office asked the judge to clarify that their family members are included, calling such protection “amply warranted.” Noting Mr. Trump’s track record of issuing “threatening and alarming remarks,” Mr. Bragg’s office warned of “the harms that those family members have suffered.”

The personal connection to the gag order complicated Justice Merchan’s decision. Shortly after last week’s initial gag order Mr. Trump issued a series of blistering attacks on Mr. Merchan and his daughter, Loren, a political consultant who has worked with Democratic candidates.

Specifically, Mr. Trump had accused Ms. Merchan — falsely — of having posted a photo of him behind bars on an account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Court officials said the account cited by Mr. Trump had been taken over last year by someone other than Ms. Merchan.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump ramped up his attacks, identifying Justice Merchan’s daughter by name and accusing her of being a “a Rabid Trump Hater, who has admitted to having conversations with her father about me, and yet he gagged me.” The former president then renewed his demands that the judge recuse himself from the case, calling Justice Merchan “totally compromised.”

And on Saturday, in an ominous escalation, Mr. Trump posted a news article to Truth Social that displayed two pictures of Ms. Merchan.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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