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Judge directs Michael Cohen to refrain from talking about Trump trial

Judge Juan Merchan on Friday directed Manhattan prosecutors to inform Michael Cohen, their star witness in former President Trump’s ongoing criminal trial, to stop speaking publicly about the case as his testimony approaches.

Trump’s lawyers have repeatedly criticized Cohen’s public attacks on Trump, given that the former president’s ability to respond is limited under the terms of his gag order.
Todd Blanche, Trump’s attorney, asked that Cohen be prohibited from talking “in the same way President Trump is” restricted.

“I will direct the People to communicate to Mr. Cohen that the judge is asking him to refrain from any more statements about this case,” Merchan said from the bench.
He told prosecutors moments later, “that comes from the bench, and you are communicating that on behalf of the bench.”

The former president’s ex-fixer previously said he would refrain from attacks on Trump, but defense attorneys said Friday that he posted a TikTok on Wednesday night wearing a tee-shirt that showed Trump in an orange jumpsuit and behind bars.

Cohen is expected to testify Monday and has been billed as a key witness for the district attorney’s office. He made the $130,000 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Trump, which he denies. He also played a role in coordinating two other hush money deals that benefitted Trump.

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