Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to make an appearance in a New York court via video on Tuesday, when serving Judge Juan Merchan is expected to reiterate his previous order against Trump revealing evidence in the criminal case against him related to hush-money paid to an adult actress.
The Judge’s earlier order was meant to protect witnesses and prevent Trump from making inflammatory statements on social media. Prosecutors initially requested an in-person appearance to alleviate the potential security threats such an appearance would pose, but the judge instead chose to allow for a teleconference.
The allegations stem from a payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels in 2016 during Trump’s presidential campaign. The payment was made to prevent Daniels from discussing an affair she claims to have had with Trump ten years prior, which he denies.
Prosecutors believe the payment was a form of campaign finance violation in the form of a “hush money” payment, and Trump is facing 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records to conceal the payments.
Trump’s lawyers are anticipating the materials necessary in order to prepare their client’s defense, and the judge has requested that both sides agree to a trial date in February or March of 2024. Trump is also trying to move the case to federal court, so it may be some time before a trial is set.
For now, it looks like Donald Trump will be making yet another virtual court appearance tomorrow – this time, joining from his home in Florida. But it remains unclear just how much the former President will be able to disclose on the case or discuss publicly, as the Judge’s order has prohibited him from revealing any materials relating to the case to third parties or on social media platforms.
While Trump has issued several fiery statements on his innocence via social media posts, all eyes will be watching what he does and says tomorrow in court - and if any further restrictions are put on his ability to discuss the case publicly.