Donald Trump has joined a number of media organizations to challenge a Manhattan district attorney‘s attempt to limit the public availability of evidence shared with the former president‘s attorneys ahead of his upcoming hush money trial.
Trump signed onto the letter sent on Monday by a news coalition that includes NBC News that argued against a protective order proposed by District Attorney Alvin Bragg to restrict how evidence can be used before trial, possibly sealing or redacting certain items.
Trump‘s lawyers also said in the letter that they opposed “requiring the advance sealing or redaction of court filings or their exhibits in this case“ as well as any order that would require parties to seek consent from the opposing party before filing any motion in unredacted form on the public docket.
The decision to side with news organizations is a break from Trump‘s frequent condemnations of the media, which he labeled the “enemy of the people“ while president, and has continued to deride journalists since he left office.
Trump‘s lawyers this week separately criticized Bragg‘s proposed protective order, which would block Trump from discussing some evidence publicly, including on social media. They characterized Bragg‘s request as an “unprecedented and extraordinarily broad muzzle on a leading contender for the presidency of the United States“ and said it would violate his First Amendment rights.
The Manhattan district attorney‘s office declined to comment on Trump‘s opposition to the proposed order.
In a filing last week, Assistant District Attorney Catherine McCaw asked Judge Juan Merchan to ensure that Trump views the evidence only in the presence of his lawyers. She argued that the order was necessary because the chance of Trump’s using evidence “inappropriately is substantial” due to his “long history of discussing his legal matters publicly—including by targeting witnesses, jurors, investigators, prosecutors, and judges with harassing, embarrassing, and threatening statements on social media and in other public forums.”
Trump pleaded not guilty last month after he was indicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and another woman during his 2016 presidential campaign.
In a Fox News interview last month, Trump suggested the probe was an effort to hurt his 2024 presidential campaign.
A hearing on the proposed order has been scheduled for Thursday morning. It remains to be seen how Judge Merchan will rule on the matter.