In a significant legal development, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office faced a major setback as a New York Supreme Court judge issued a ruling quashing a pair of subpoenas to obtain emails from former first lady Melania Trump. The subpoenas played a vital role in a case against ex-President Donald Trump, who faces allegations of tampering with business records.
The ruling, attached to a court filing on July 27 and issued by Judge Juan Merchan on July 7, concluded that the subpoenas were overly broad in their scope. According to the judge, the requests for Melania Trump’s emails and other documents sought significantly more responsive records than were necessary for the ongoing legal proceedings.
It is worth noting that the court filing mentioned earlier also contained a letter from the prosecutors requesting clarification on a completely different issue. The prosecutors were keen on obtaining the complete videotaped deposition provided by Mr. Trump in a civil lawsuit initiated by writer E. Jean Carroll. Although Judge Merchan did not fully approve their request, he deemed their subpoena for the videotape acceptable, but with certain conditions.
Regrettably for the prosecution, the judge did not view the subpoenas concerning communications between Melania Trump and former Trump executive assistant Rhona Graff, as well as the former director of Oval Office operations Keith Schiller, and all travel itineraries prepared for the former president during a 25-month period, in a favorable light. Judge Merchan contended that these requests were not adequately tailored to their stated objective and, as such, were also quashed.
Moreover, Judge Merchan exercised his authority to partially block another subpoena brought forward by Mr. Bragg’s office, which sought documentation pertaining to 17 current and former employees of the Trump Organization. The judge reasoned that the prosecutors had failed to provide sufficient justification for the relevance of seven individuals among the 17 to the ongoing case.
Trump is accused of making payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. Despite facing 34 counts of falsifying business records, Trump maintains his innocence and argues that the investigation is politically motivated, aimed at sabotaging his potential 2024 White House bid.
On a different note, Melania Trump expressed her unwavering support for her husband’s 2024 reelection bid. Speaking in an interview on Fox News Digital in May, she expressed her willingness to serve as the first lady again, considering it a “privilege.” Melania Trump emphasized her commitment to continuing her impactful “Be Best” campaign, which strongly emphasizes child welfare and addresses pressing issues related to social media and the opioid crisis. Her focus, she declared, would be on the well-being and development of children, a cause she has consistently championed during her tenure as the first lady.