Prosecutors Argue Against Lifting Trump Gag Order

His lawyers call for 'unrestrained campaign advocacy' now that trial has concluded
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2024 3:17 PM CDT
Prosecutors Oppose Lifting Trump Gag Order
Donald Trump leaves the courthouse after a jury found him guilty of all 34 felony counts in his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024.   (Justin Lane/Pool Photo via AP)

Prosecutors don't want the judge in Donald Trump's hush-money trial to lift what the former president calls a "nasty gag order." In a letter to Judge Juan Merchan made public on Wednesday, prosecutor Matthew Colangelo argued that the restrictions should remain in place "at least through the sentencing hearing and the resolution of any post-trial motions," the Hill reports. The trial concluded last week, and Trump was found guilty of 34 felonies, but the court still "has an obligation to protect the integrity of these proceedings and the fair administration of justice," Colangelo wrote. Trump will be sentenced on July 11.

The gag order issued in March bans Trump from speaking publicly about jurors, witnesses, court staff, prosecutors, and their family members, though he is allowed to speak about Merchan and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. In a letter to the judge on Monday, Trump's lawyers argued that the order should be lifted, the BBC reports. They said the case for "unrestrained campaign advocacy is even stronger in light of" remarks about the verdict from President Biden, who will debate Trump on June 27, reports CBS News.

Trump's lawyers also cited "continued attacks" on the former president by witnesses including Michael Cohen. Attorney Todd Blanche wrote that "the defense does not concede that there was ever a valid basis for the gag order and reserves the right to challenge the irreparable First Amendment harms caused by the order." (More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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