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Trump Asks Judge to Lift Gag Order from NY Criminal Trial

Lift Gag Order

Former President Donald Trump has formally requested the removal of a gag order imposed during his New York criminal trial, according to a filing released on Tuesday. Here are some details according to the report of The Philippine Star.

Background on the Gag Order

Judge Juan Merchan initially imposed the limited gag order to prevent Trump from publicly commenting on jurors, witnesses, prosecutors, and court staff. They later expanded the order to include comments about his own family and the prosecutor’s family. The judge’s decision aimed to ensure a fair trial and maintain the integrity of the judicial process.

Despite the gag order, Trump repeatedly broke the restrictions, resulting in a $10,000 fine from the Manhattan court. They threatened him with jail time for openly disregarding the judge’s ruling. Prior to the gag order, Trump frequently attacked potential witnesses and prosecutors on his Truth Social platform.

Last week, jurors found Trump guilty of falsifying business records to cover up a sex scandal during the final stages of his 2016 presidential campaign. This verdict makes him the first convicted former U.S. president. Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11.

Request to Lift the Gag Order

In a letter sent on Monday, Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche asked Judge Merchan to “terminate the gag order restricting President Trump’s extrajudicial statements.” Blanche argued that with the trial concluded, the original concerns that justified the gag order no longer apply. He emphasized that the restrictions infringe on Trump’s First Amendment rights, particularly as he remains a leading candidate for the 2024 presidential election.

Blanche’s letter also referenced comments made by President Joe Biden following the verdict. Biden highlighted the unprecedented nature of having a “convicted felon” seeking the White House, suggesting the campaign had entered “uncharted territory.” This, according to Blanche, further underscores the need to lift the gag order.

As Trump seeks to regain the presidency, the outcome of this request could have significant implications for his campaign and public discourse. The judge’s decision on whether to lift the gag order will be closely watched, given the high-profile nature of the case and its potential impact on the 2024 election.

Read Also: Mexico President Dismisses Trump’s Border Wall Proposal as Ineffective

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