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NEW YORK – A tentative trial date has been set in the criminal case against former President Donald Trump, who is accused of falsifying business records during his successful 2016 presidential campaign.

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Trump pleaded not guilty last month to 34 counts of falsifying business records. He has denied any wrongdoing, framing the case as a politically motivated witch hunt.

Update 3:35 p.m. EDT May 23: Trump appeared by video in a Manhattan courthouse, where Judge Juan Manual Merchan scheduled his trial to start on March 25, The Associated Press reported. The tentative date means the trial could happen in the thick of the 2024 presidential election.

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The former president spoke only to confirm that he had a copy of a protective order issued by the judge on May 8 which bars Trump from publicly sharing evidence turned over to his attorneys, CNN reported. His attorney, Todd Blanche, said that Trump “understands that he has to comply with the order, and if he doesn’t do so, he’s violating your order,” according to the news network.

Merchan reiterated Tuesday that he was not blocking Trump from talking about the case against him during his presidential campaign, WABC-TV reported.

“He is free to defend himself against these charges. He is free to campaign,” Merchan said, according to CNN. “He is free to do just about anything that does not violate the specific terms of the protective order.”

Trump pleads not guilty to 34 counts: Read the indictment

Original report: Former President Donald Trump will appear by video Tuesday in a Manhattan courtroom after a judge barred him from sharing evidence provided to his lawyers as part of his criminal prosecution, according to multiple reports.

Prosecutors sought a protective order shortly after Trump’s arrest in April, arguing that he has a history of making “harassing, embarrassing, and threatening statements” about people during legal disputes, The Associated Press reported. Judge Juan Manual Merchan on May 8 issued an order prohibiting Trump from using evidence turned over as part of the pretrial discovery process to attack people involved in the case, according to the AP.

Trump speaks to supporters after pleading not guilty to falsifying business records

Trump will appear virtually in court Tuesday to confirm he understands the protective order, WABC-TV reported.

Similar orders are not uncommon, The Washington Post reported, though authorities have shared particular concerns that Trump might try to intimidate witnesses or rally supporters to violence by posting discovery evidence publicly. In March, shortly before prosecutors confirmed that Trump had been indicted, the former president claimed in a social media post that criminal charges could lead to “potential death & destruction.” He has frequently attacked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and both the prosecutor and Merchan have gotten a slew of threats related to the case, according to the Post.

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The order issued May 8 also restricts Trump from seeing some documents without his lawyers and bars defense attorneys from making copies of evidence for anyone outside the legal team, the Post reported. It does not keep Trump from talking about the case. Earlier, Merchan said he wanted to give the former president the chance to defend himself as he campaigns for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, according to WABC.

Prosecutors said Trump falsified business records to hide payments that he made to his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to keep allegations of extramarital affairs quiet ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The payments were marked as legal fees when authorities said they should have been labeled as campaign expenses.

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to violating campaign finance laws.