Trump posts bond in civil fraud case; has gag order expanded in hush-money trial

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump posted a $175 million bond Monday night. Separately, a gag order against him was expanded in his hush-money trial. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump posted a $175 million bond Monday in his New York civil fraud case. Meanwhile, a judge approved the expansion of Trump’s gag order in his hush-money case to include the judge’s family.

A court filing said the bond was provided by Knight Insurance, a California-based company. The move ensures that New York Attorney General Letitia James doesn’t seize Trump’s assets related to the case.

News of the bond comes a week after a New York appeals court reduced the amount Trump had to post as bond from nearly half a billion to $175 million – and gave him 10 days to post it. Trump made that payment well within that window. Trump had argued that a bond to cover the $454 million civil fraud judgement was “a practically impossibility,” because he doesn’t have the cash to guarantee it right now.

Separately, Judge Juan Merchan expanded last week’s gag order designed to prevent Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, from attacking witnesses, jurors and prosecutors in the case, as well as their families, to include his family members. In his ruling, Merchan rejected Trump’s assertion his statements “constitute core political speech.”

Trump has been targeting Merchan’s daughter in his social media posts. Monday’s gag order does not extend to Merchan himself or Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who brought the case. Both have been a recipient of the former president’s ire. Trump has – without evidence – said the cases against him are politically motivated.

Jury selection in the hush-money case begins April 15.

Trump is accused of multiple counts of falsifying business records to keep an alleged affair secret at the end of the 2016 campaign. Although his criminal trial in New York is perhaps relatively less serious in scale, it would be a historic first trial against a sitting or former president.

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