New York judge partially lifts Trump’s gag order

New York judge partially lifts Trump’s gag order
New York judge partially lifts Trump’s gag order

The updated terms allow Trump to speak again about witnesses from the trial (in which he was found guilty of all 34 charges against him), including his former lawyer Michael Cohen and the actress Stormy Daniels herself, whom he has incessantly attacked.

The partial lifting of the order occurs less than 48 hours before the first presidential debate of 2024, where the former president is expected to speak about his conviction in the case that is concluded for sentencing on July 11.

The gag order remains in effect when it comes to the prosecutors overseeing the process, with the exception of District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan, although the latter anticipated that he would lift those restrictions after the sentencing.

Trump was found guilty of falsifying business records last month in connection with the payment of $130,000 through Cohen to Daniels before the 2016 election to keep secret his story of an alleged affair that would have tarnished his image at the time.

The former president has criticized the gag order as a violation of his First Amendment rights, especially given his status as an almost certain Republican presidential candidate.

In Tuesday’s decision, Merchan defended his original decision to impose the order, noting that appeals courts had upheld it.

“Both orders were narrowly tailored to address the significant concerns related to the defendant’s extrajudicial speech,” he wrote.

The magistrate determined that Trump violated the gag order on 10 occasions in the period before and during his trial, for which he was fined $1,000 for each time. Furthermore, he warned him that if he continued to ignore the provisions he would face jail.

The criminal trial and the jury’s unanimous guilty verdict made Trump the first former president in the history of the United States to go through a ordeal like this.

rgh/dfm

 
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