Trump Asks For Gag Order To Be Lifted Before Debate With Biden

Donald Trump’s lawyers asked the judge overseeing his hush money case to lift the gag order preventing him from publicly speaking about various people involved in the case, now that a verdict in the trial has been issued.

In a letter Tuesday to New York County Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan, the former president’s legal team said that keeping the gag order in place would impact the “constitutional mandate for unrestrained campaign advocacy” by Trump, who is the presumptive GOP nominee for president despite being convicted on 34 felony charges last week.

They noted that a presidential debate with President Joe Biden is scheduled for June 27, and that Biden has spoken publicly about the jury’s verdict, criticizing Trump for calling it a “rigged, disgraceful trial.”

This is Trump’s latest effort to undo the gag order, which originally prohibited him from making any public commentary about the jurors, lawyers or potential witnesses in the case. The order was later expanded to include the families of Merchan and prosecutor and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Throughout the weekslong trial, the court repeatedly fined Trump for violating the gag order and warned him that he could face jail time for future infractions.

In the letter to Merchan, Trump’s lawyers reiterated their opposition to the gag order, which Merchan put into effect after determining that Trump was repeatedly making “threatening, inflammatory, denigrating” comments about people involved in the case.

Trump often complained about the gag order at his campaign rallies, overstating the reach of the order and saying he’d been “unconstitutionally gagged.”

“He gagged me, so I’m not even supposed to be talking to you ― because he gagged me!” Trump proclaimed at a rally last month.