Judge in Trump’s NY criminal case will limit access to juror information over safety concerns

The New York judge overseeing Donald Trump’s criminal trial beginning later this month agreed to limit access to juror information, citing the possibility of harassment.

Judge Juan Merchan granted motions by prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office to restrict who can know the names of jurors to Trump, the attorneys, staff and consultants in the case, forbidding them from being shared with anyone else.

Merchan said he found “compelling” prosecutors’ argument that Trump has a history of publicly attacking jurors involved in other cases.

The judge also said he would limit who can have knowledge of jurors addresses to only the attorneys in the case, making clear that Trump and anyone else cannot know where the jurors live or work.

“The Court further finds good cause, on the record before it, ‘that there is a likelihood of bribery, jury tampering, or of physical injury or harassment of juror(s),’” Merchan wrote, quoting the legal standard.

The judge said, at Trump’s request, he would “take reasonable precautions,” such as not disclosing these protective orders to the jurors so it would not prejudice or reflect badly on Trump.

The judge has not yet ruled on prosecutors’ request for a gag order in the case, but he did remind the attorneys and Trump in the written order of his previous instruction that they should refrain from making statements that could incite violence or civil unrest.

He added, “Access to the courtroom by the public and the press will not be tempered in any way as a result of these protective measures.”

Prosecutors asked the judge to limit Trump from knowing too much about the jurors.

“Defendant’s conduct in this and other matters – including his extensive history of attacking jurors in other proceedings – presents a significant risk of juror harassment and intimidation that warrants reasonable protective measures to ensure the integrity of these proceedings, minimize obstacles to jury selection, and protect juror safety,” prosecutors said in their motion.

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