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NY v Trump: Judge Merchan partially lifts gag order on former president

Judge Juan Merchan partially lifted the gag order he had imposed on former President Trump weeks after a jury found him guilty of all charges.

Trump and his legal team have been fighting a gag order that was imposed at the start of the trial, but stepped up their efforts after it concluded last month. Lawyers for the former president and presumptive Republican nominee had argued that the gag order should be lifted before the June 27 presidential debate.

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Marchan’s gag order prohibited Trump from making public statements or instructing others about the potential involvement of witnesses or about any attorneys in the case other than Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, or about court officials, district attorneys or family members of officials.

Judge Marchan partially lifted the gag order on Tuesday as the trial was over.

Trump can now speak about protected witnesses and jurors.

In this courtroom sketch, Judge Juan Merchan gives instructions to the jury before the verdict during a criminal trial on May 29, 2024, as former President Trump looks on. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg)

Trump is still barred from commenting about individual prosecutors, court officials and their families. That gag order will remain in effect until his sentencing on July 11.

In the order, reviewed by Fox News on Tuesday, Marchant said his rationale for issuing the gag order in the first place was to “protect the integrity of the judicial process.”

“The trial portion of this proceeding concluded when the verdict was returned and the jury was dismissed,” Marchant wrote, noting that Trump appealed the order but was denied.

Marchant noted that the court “would very much like to extend those protections, but cannot do so on a record different from the one the appellate court relied on in deciding the case.”

Merchant, Trump

Judge Juan Marchand issued a gag order against former President Trump before the trial began, and was fined $10,000 for violating that order. (Getty Images)

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The censorship order will be lifted in its entirety after the “verdict is announced.”

Marchan’s decision to lift the gag order came just days after a New York appeals court rejected his request to lift the gag order against Trump, saying “substantial constitutional issues are not directly involved.”

Former president and presumed Republican presidential candidate Was found guilty Bragg was indicted last month on all 34 first-degree charges of falsifying business records. The six-week trial stemmed from charges filed by Bragg.

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Trump and his legal team argue that the gag order violates the First Amendment rights of not only Trump but also his supporters, and that Trump should not be bound by it.

“Today’s order by Acting Judge Marchan leaves intact parts of the unconstitutional silence order, preventing President Trump from speaking freely about the conflicts of interest that led to Judge Marchan’s disqualification and the overwhelming evidence that exposes the entire fraudulent witch hunt against Joe Biden,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Chang said in a statement Tuesday.

“This is another unlawful ruling by a deeply conflicted judge that silences President Trump, a leading 2024 presidential candidate, in Thursday’s scheduled presidential debate and is patently un-American. President Trump and his legal team will immediately challenge today’s unconstitutional order.”

Trump’s sentencing is scheduled for July 11, just four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where he is expected to be formally nominated as the GOP’s 2024 presidential candidate.