Leading up to this week’s debate against President Joe Biden, the New York judge who presided over former President Donald Trump’s “hush money” case loosened the reins on his gag order.

In his order on Tuesday, Judge Juan Merchan said that Trump was granted permission to speak freely about certain aspects of the criminal trial and the people involved, including witnesses and jurors. Merchan emphasized that the gag order was initially implemented to “protect the integrity of the judicial proceedings,” but now that the case has concluded, he could not justify banning Trump from speaking out any longer, per The Associated Press.

However, Trump is still barred from mentioning aspects of the jurors that could identify them or put them in harm’s way. “There is ample evidence to justify continued concern for the jurors,” Merchan added in his order. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is still not allowed to criticize court staff, the prosecution team, or the families of Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

During the trial, Trump was fined $10,000 for violating the gag order and threatened with jail time by Merchan if he violated it any further. Last month, Trump was found guilty on all 34 criminal counts against him after the jury deliberated for more than 10 hours in the case brought against him by Bragg.

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Following Merchan’s gag order provisions, Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump, said the order remains “unconstitutional” and that the former president will continue to fight it, according to CBS News.


“This is 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,” Cheung said.

Trump posted on his Truth Social account Tuesday afternoon the following:

“Every time the Radical Left Democrats, Marxists, Communists, and Fascists indict me, I consider it a GREAT BADGE OF HONOR. I’m being indicted for YOU. Never forget—our enemies want to take away MY freedom because I will never let them take away YOUR freedom! They want to silence ME because I will never let them silence YOU.”

Trump’s sentencing in the criminal case is set for July 11.

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