NEW: New York appeals court judge rejects Trump's bid to delay Alvin Bragg's docs trial while appealing gag order

"The First Amendment harms arising from this gag order right now are irreparable."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

New York Appeals Court Justice Cynthia Kern rejected a bid by Donald Trump’s team to delay the start of Alvin Bragg’s falsified business documents case while he fights a gag order placed on him by Judge Juan Merchan.

Trump’s lawyers had sought to delay the trial, which is set to begin on April 15, until a full appellate court judge panel could hear arguments on lifting or modifying a gag order placed on Trump in the case, according to the Associated Press.

Trump’s lawyers had argued that the gag order is an unconstitutional prior restraint on the 2024 presumptive GOP nominee’s free speech rights while he’s campaigning.

"The First Amendment harms arising from this gag order right now are irreparable," Emil Bove, a lawyer for Trump, said in a Tuesday emergency hearing.

Steven Wu, appellate chief for the Manhattan district attorney's office, said that there was a "public interest in protecting the integrity of the trial."

Speaking on Trump’s statements, Wu said, "This is not political debate. These are insults."

The gag order issued by Merchan was expanded last week to include his family.

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