End of the “gag order”: Trump will be able to speak against witnesses and jurors in his trial

End of the “gag order”: Trump will be able to speak against witnesses and jurors in his trial
End of the “gag order”: Trump will be able to speak against witnesses and jurors in his trial

Donald Trump regained his freedom of speech on Tuesday regarding his criminal trial in New York in which he was found guilty at the end of May, a decision which comes two days before the presidential debate against Joe Biden.

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Judge Juan Merchan signed, according to a court document, the lifting of most of the restrictions he had imposed on Donald Trump: he was prohibited, under penalty of fines, from speaking outside the courtroom against witnesses of the prosecution and the jurors during his historic trial from April 15 to May 30.

On the other hand, these limitations continue to apply with regard to the identity and domicile of the jurors, who declared him guilty.

Judicial staff as well as the families of prosecutors and the judge also remain protected by these speech restrictions (“gag order”). But Judge Merchan himself and the New York State Attorney for the Manhattan jurisdiction, Alvin Bragg, who investigated the whole affair, are not: they were also copiously insulted by Donald Trump or even threatened by anonymous people.

The final restrictions will only be lifted after the sentencing of the ex-president on July 11, who in theory faces a prison sentence.

“There is ample evidence to justify continued concern for the jurors,” Justice Merchan wrote. And “until the sentence is imposed (judicial personnel) must continue to exercise justice without feeling threatened, intimidated, harassed or even attacked,” warned the magistrate.

On May 30, the Manhattan criminal jury unanimously found Donald Trump guilty of 34 offenses of falsifying accounting documents to hide the payment of $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels just before the November 2016 presidential election.

This payment, the concealment of which was deemed illegal, was intended to buy her silence about a sexual relationship that she claims to have had with Donald Trump – and which the latter denies – in 2006, when he was already married to his wife Melania.

The 78-year-old former Republican president (2017-2021), who aspires to become one again, will face his successor Joe Biden, 81, on Thursday in their first televised debate for the race towards the November 5 election.

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