Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers are seeking to terminate his gag order now his trial is over.

Trump was placed on a gag order during the duration of his trial that convicted him of 34 felony charges. In a letter to Judge Juan Merchen, who oversaw the trial, Trump’s lawyers asked that the order be terminated.

“Now that the trial is concluded, the concerns articulated by the government and the Court do not justify continued restrictions on the First Amendment rights of President Trump – who remains the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election – and the American people,” wrote Trump’s lawyers. 

The letter was sent on Monday and made public by Tuesday.

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Trump’s lawyers argued that the gag order was intended “to protect the integrity of this criminal proceeding and avoid prejudice to the jury.” Now that the trial is over, they hope to have the gag order removed.

Trump’s lawyers further argued that the gag order should be lifted, as President Joe Biden has commented on Trump’s verdict, and the two candidates have a presidential debate later this month.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office opposed this request, citing that the court still has an obligation to protect the integrity of the trial proceedings until Trump is sentenced next month.

The gag order was granted in March, prior to the start of the trial, and it restricted Trump from making public statements about any witnesses, jurors, courtroom staff, prosecutors or members of their families. However, this gag order did not restrict Trump from making public statements about Judge Merchan or District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

“Although this Court did not issue an order restricting the defendant’s speech at the inception of this case, choosing instead to issue an admonition, given the nature and impact of the statements made against this Court and a family member thereof, the District Attorney and an Assistant District Attorney, the witnesses in this case, as well as the nature and impact of the extrajudicial statements made by Defendant in the D.C. Circuit case (which resulted in the D.C Circuit issuing an order restricting his speech), and given that the eve of trial is upon us, it is without question that the imminency of the risk of harm is now paramount,” wrote Merchan in establishing the gag order. 

Merchan fined Trump and found him in criminal contempt after violating the gag order ten times during the early stages of the trial.

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