Thursday 6 June 2024

Trump Attorneys Ask Judge To Lift Gag Order Ahead Of Presidential Debate

 Lawyers for Donald Trump are asking a New York judge to lift a gag order on the former president ahead of a scheduled debate with President Joe Biden.

Trump attorneys Todd Blanche and Emil Bove wrote to Judge Juan Merchan Tuesday and asked him to remove the order. Merchan blocked Trump from speaking freely and publicly about witnesses, prosecutors, and others before Trump’s trial concluded last week.

The attorneys argued that since the trial concluded, there is no longer a good reason for “continued restrictions on the First Amendment rights of President Trump,” according to POLITICO. Trump needs flexibility to respond to public statements from his campaign opponent, President Joe Biden, and trial witnesses, attorney Michael Cohen, and porn actress Stormy Daniels, the attorneys argued.

With the first presidential debate scheduled for June 27, Trump must also be able to address the case, the verdict, and its consequences without being stifled by the gag order, the attorneys’ letter said.

“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,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in the letter, according to CBS News.

Blanche has previously stated that he understood the gag order to expire at the end of the trial, which concluded last week with a Manhattan jury finding Trump guilty on 34 felony accounts over hush money payments to Daniels in 2016. Trump has continued to speak in public as if the gag order is still in effect, however, as Blanche said, he would go to Merchan for clarification.

“It’s a little bit of the theater of the absurd at this point, right? Michael Cohen is no longer a witness in this trial,” Blanche said. “The trial is over. The same thing with all the other witnesses. So, we’ll see. I don’t mean that in any way as being disrespectful of the judge and the process. I just want to be careful and understand when it no longer applies.”


Merchan imposed the gag order on Trump on March 26. Since then, the New York judge has charged Trump with violating it 10 times and fined the former president $10,000. Merchan also threatened Trump with jail time if he continued to make statements that Merchan found to be in violation of his order.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced in the case on July 11, just four days before the GOP convention.

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