Manhattan district attorney asks judge to extend gag order against Trump

<span>Alvin Bragg speaks in New York on 13 September 2023.</span><span>Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP</span>
Alvin Bragg speaks in New York on 13 September 2023.Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP

Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who prosecuted Donald Trump in his felony trial, has asked a judge to extend a gag order against the ex-president after an onslaught of threats and harassment against him and other officials since the guilty verdict.

The gag order was placed on Trump before the start of the felony trial. It prevented the former president from attacking witnesses, court staff, jurors and relatives of Judge Juan Merchan, who oversaw the trial.

Trump’s legal team has unsuccessfully attempted to overturn the gag order, arguing that it prevents voters from being able to hear from a presidential candidate.

But Bragg and others have said that part of the order should remain for jurors, prosecutors, their staff and their families, given a high number of threats, the New York Times reported.

Bragg specifically has faced an onslaught of death threats and harassment since Trump was found guilty. He has received more than 100 threatening emails via his campaign website, the New York Daily News reported, citing a source who asked to remain anonymous.

Several of the abusive messages obtained by the Daily News use racial slurs including the N-word, “gorilla” and “primate”, it reported, adding that Bragg also faced death threats and racial abuse throughout the seven-week trial.

In one instance, a package was sent to Bragg from Portland, Oregon, containing a picture of Bragg alongside a noose, with the caption: “I am past the point of just wanting them in prison.”

The New York police department has logged 56 “actionable threats” since the start of April against Bragg, his employees, and his family, the Times reported.

A representative for Bragg did not respond to a request for comment.

Related: Billionaire first to reach $100m in election donations – to Trump and RFK Jr

Trump has aimed his own ire at Bragg even before the hush-money trial began. Last April, he reportedly told a close circle of advisers that he planned to escalate political attacks against the DA after a grand jury voted to indict him.

Trump also accused Bragg of being a psychopath, and alleged that the hush-money trial was a political move.

But much of the hate towards Bragg came after Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the New York state hush-money trial – making the presumptive Republican nominee in the 2024 presidential election the first former president to be convicted of a criminal offense.

Since the trial, supporters of Trump have urged the former president to jail Bragg if he wins back the White House in November. Steve Bannon, a former strategist in Trump’s White House, has led the charge.

“Of course [Bragg] should be – and will be – jailed,” Bannon told Axios, arguing that Bragg would be prosecuted under the US constitution’s 14th and fourth amendment.

Other Republican-led states have promised to prosecute Bragg for his role in the Trump hush-money trial. The Missouri attorney general, Andrew Bailey, declared on Thursday that he would be filing a lawsuit against the state of New York for its “direct attack on our democratic process through unconstitutional lawfare against President Trump”.