Former President Donald Trump walks out of the Manhattan criminal...

Former President Donald Trump walks out of the Manhattan criminal court on May 30 after a jury convicted him of felony crimes for falsifying business records in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election. Credit: AP/Seth Wenig

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wants to keep the gag order on Donald Trump amid a spike in threats against the prosecutor, his family and his staff, court papers filed Friday show.

According to an NYPD Threat Assessment and Protection Unit affidavit, 56 threats to Bragg and his family have come during the months of the trial: April, May and June. That doesn’t include the 500 threatening emails and phone calls to the prosecutor’s office since April, according to Sgt. Nicholas Pistilli of the threat unit.

“The recent threat activity directly connected to [Trump’s] dangerous rhetoric about this prosecution includes bomb threats at the homes of two people involved in this case on April 15, 2024 — the first day of trial,” Manhattan prosecutor Matthew Colangelo wrote in his motion to oppose lifting the gag order.

There was also a threatening post revealing the address of a district attorney staff member involved in the case and an internet post depicting sniper sites on staff, according to Colangelo.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wants to keep the gag order on Donald Trump amid a spike in threats against the prosecutor, his family and his staff, court papers filed Friday show.
  • According to an NYPD Threat Assessment and Protection Unit affidavit, 56 threats to Bragg and his family have come in during the months of the trial: April, May and June. 
  • Prosecutors conceded that the gag order protecting the witnesses was no longer necessary.

Other online posts have said, “we will kill you all,” “[staff member] should be in witness protection,” and “Your life is done.”

Colangelo also argued jurors still need protection after CNN and NBC News reported that Trump supporters were urged to publish the juror addresses online.

On June 3, defense lawyers for Trump, Emil Bove and Todd Blanche, asked New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan to lift the restrictions imposed in April prohibiting the former president from speaking about the jurors, witnesses, and family and staff of the court and prosecution.

After Trump’s conviction on 34 counts of falsifying documents on May 30, the former president and his lawyers complained the continued ban on speaking about the trial participants infringed on his free speech rights.

“Now that the trial is concluded, the concerns articulated by the government and the court do not justify continued restrictions on the First Amendment rights of President Trump — who remains the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election — and the American people,” defense lawyers argued.

Because adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Trump fixer Michael Cohen have continued to attack the former president, Blanche and Bove said, it is only fair that their client be able to respond.

President Joe Biden also weighed in the day after the conviction, slamming Trump for his criticism of the court system.

The defense lawyers said it is particularly crucial the order be lifted before the June 27 presidential debate.

Prosecutors, however, argued the gag order gives Trump agency to speak out against his political opponents, the judge, the court system and the prosecutor.

“[Trump] uncontestably retains ample leeway to engage in a significant amount of speech to respond to [his] opponents and adversaries including President Biden, his campaign staff … his surrogates, the White House Press Secretary and Robert De Niro,” Colangelo wrote in his brief.

The “Raging Bull” actor held a news conference outside the courthouse denouncing Trump and calling his supporters “gangsters.”

Prosecutors conceded that the gag order protecting the witnesses was no longer necessary.

The former president chafed under the judge’s order, violating it 10 times in speaking about jurors and witnesses. The court fined him $10,000.

Merchan threatened twice to jail the former president if he continued to flout the order.

Trump’s conviction does not mean that the jurors, witnesses, court and prosecution staff and their family members are no longer in danger, Colangelo said, and keeping the order allows further fines and perhaps incarceration.

“The change in circumstance does not mean that [Trump] has carte blanche to resume his reprehensible practice of publicly attacking individuals involved in litigation against him,” he wrote. “But protections against such attacks will now derive from separate criminal law protections against harassment and similar misconduct.”

Merchan will now weigh the arguments from defense lawyers and prosecutors and decide whether or not to lift the order.

The judge could issue a written ruling or decide from the bench on July 11, when Trump is scheduled to be sentenced.

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

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