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The Details – One America News Network

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OAN’s Brooke Mallory
6:18 PM – Tuesday, June 25, 2024

On Tuesday, a Manhattan court overturned Donald Trump’s gag order, allowing the former president to speak freely about jurors and witnesses in the “so-called” hush money trial that resulted in his conviction.

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However, other parties involved in the case will remain off-limits until July 11th.

Judge Juan M. Merchan’s ruling allows the Republican nominee, Trump, to call out his disgruntled lawyer-turned-foe Michael Cohen, former porn star Stormy Daniels, and other trial witnesses, just days before Trump and President Joe Biden debate on Thursday.

Merchan wrote in a five-page decision that the gag order was purportedly intended to “protect the integrity of the judicial proceedings” and that since the trial was over and the jury was cleared, the rights of the witnesses and jurors were no longer applicable.

Merchan stated that while he couldn’t defend it, it had been his “strong preference” to keep preventing Trump from making remarks regarding the jurors—the identities of whom have not been disclosed. The judge did, however, maintain a separate order that forbade Trump and his attorneys from revealing the names or addresses of certain jurors. Following the verdict, Todd Blanche, the attorney for Trump, stated that the defense team had disposed of the material.

“There is ample evidence to justify continued concern for the jurors,” Merchan stated.

Merchan also imposed a restriction on him speaking about the prosecution team, court employees, or their families. He wrote that these parties must “continue to perform their lawful duties free from threats, intimidation, harassment, and harm.” Trump is also still free to speak on the judge or the office of District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the case, without being restricted by these limits.

After the trial, Trump’s attorneys asked for Merchan to fully lift the gag order, arguing that there was no need to limit Trump’s First Amendment rights. According to Trump, the gag order kept him from defending himself while Cohen and Daniels continuously persecuted him.

“Though largely a win for Trump, his campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung criticized Tuesday’s ruling as ‘another unlawful decision by a highly conflicted judge, which is blatantly un-American as it gags President Trump, the leading candidate in the 2024 Presidential Election during the upcoming Presidential Debate on Thursday,’ AP News reported.

The gag order, according to Cheung, “will immediately challenge today’s unconstitutional order,” since it still forbids him from discussing the judge, whom he claims has a conflict of interest, or from reiterating his baseless accusations that Biden oversaw the prosecution.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had requested that Merchan maintain the gag order’s prohibition on remarks regarding the jury and trial personnel until Trump is sentenced, but they announced last week that they would be comfortable with Trump making remarks regarding witnesses now that the trial has concluded.

Cohen responded to the ruling, saying: “For the past 6 years, Donald and acolytes have been making constant negative statements about me. Donald’s failed strategy of discrediting me so that he can avoid accountability didn’t work then and won’t work now.”

A few weeks before the trial began, on March 26th, Merchan issued Trump’s gag order in response to concerns expressed by the prosecution regarding the presumed Republican presidential nominee’s history of discussing those connected to his cases on Truth Social.

Merchan later extended it to forbid remarks about his own family following Trump’s public comments on the judge’s daughter, a known Democrat party political strategist, on social media.

The judge threatened to put Trump in jail if he broke the gag order again.

In an attempt to get the ban lifted, Trump’s attorneys, Todd Blanche and Emil Bove, contended that, given Biden’s remarks regarding the verdict in public as well as Stormy Daniels and Cohen’s consistent attacks, Trump had a right to “unrestrained campaign advocacy.”

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