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Judge lifts part of Trump gag order, allowing him to speak about jury, witnesses

Trump is now free to speak about jurors and witnesses following his 34-count conviction in New York.
Trump Hush Money
Posted at 11:19 AM, Jun 25, 2024

The New York judge who oversaw the trial involving Donald Trump has lifted a portion of a gag order against the former president.

Judge Juan Merchan said on Tuesday that Trump is now able to make public statements about jurors and witnesses from the trial. In his court filing, Merchan said that Trump was previously prohibited from speaking about the jury and witnesses "to protect the integrity of the judicial proceedings."

Merchan said prosecutors did not object to lifting the gag order on Trump speaking about witnesses.

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Although Merchan said his preference would be to keep language in the gag order to prevent Trump from speaking about the jury, since jurors are not involved in Trump's sentencing, Merchan decided to lift that part of the gag order as well.

A jury convicted Trump in May on 34 counts of falsifying business records. He is set to be sentenced next month.

Merchan kept in place portions of the gag order that prevent Trump from speaking about District Attorney Alvin Bragg's staff and family members, as well as court staff and their families.

After issuing the gag order on March 26, Merchan found Trump had violated the order numerous times and threatened to put Trump in jail if he were to violate the gag order again.

"It appears the $1,000 fines are not serving as a deterrent. Moving forward, the court will consider a jail sanction," Merchan said on May 6. "The last thing I want to do is put you in jail. You are the former president and potentially the next president."

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Prosecutors said Trump violated the gag order by posting disparaging comments about key witnesses Michael Cohen, who served as a former attorney for Trump, and Stormy Daniels. Prosecutors also said Trump tried to influence the jury after reposting remarks on April 17 from Fox News' Jesse Waters that said, "They're catching undercover liberal activists lying to the judge in order to get on the Trump jury.” Merchan noted that the following day, a juror asked to be dismissed.

Trump has repeatedly decried the gag order, saying it violates his free speech rights.