Lawyer says Trump didn't intend to threaten prosecutor with social media post: 'That is a picture of him showing off an American-made bat'

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  • Former President Donald Trump will not be prevented from discussing the New York case against him.

  • Trump was indicted Tuesday on 34 felony counts.

  • The judge overseeing the case declined to impose a gag order.

The judge overseeing the New York case against former President Donald Trump has declined to impose a gag order on the defendant while expressing concern about his use of social media, where the Republican — indicted by a grand jury on 34 felony counts related to a 2016 hush payment to an adult film star — has warned of "death and destruction" over his prosecution and directly attacked the man in charge of it.

Speaking to reporters, Joe Tacopina, an attorney for Trump, acknowledged that Judge Juan M. Merchan had discussed the former president's use of social media. But he insisted that Merchan, who also oversaw the tax fraud case involving the Trump Organization, did not "admonish" the defendant, whose posts, Tacopina argued, had been taken out of context.

On his own social network, Truth Social, Trump had posted a news story, for example, that showed him wielding a baseball bat next to a photo of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Tacopina, who previously acknowledged that Trump's posts about the case were "ill-advised," argued that the post was not meant to constitute a threat from the former president. "That is a picture of him showing off an American-made bat," he said.

Todd Blanche, another Trump attorney, told reporters that Merchan had asked all parties to be respectful and not use language "that is inappropriate." In an apparent dig at Michael Cohen, a witness in the case and former fixer for Trump, Blanche said that admonishment extended to "the witnesses for the people who are talking just as much as the president."

Read the original article on Business Insider