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New York judge partially lifts Trump gag order in hush-money case

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A judge partially lifted a gag order on Donald Trump in his hush-money case in New York, where he was found guilty of falsifying business records last month.

Trump is now allowed to make public comments about witnesses in the case and speak generally about jurors in his trial, Justice Juan Merchan wrote in a ruling on Tuesday.

The former president still is barred from speaking publicly about court staff, prosecutors and their families.

The identities of the jurors – kept secret due to the high-profile nature of the trial – also will remain protected, Justice Merchan said.

Trump frequently has spoken out against the gag order, which he claimed is unconstitutional.

In a statement on Tuesday, his spokesperson called Justice Merchan’s decision “another unlawful decision by a highly conflicted judge”.

Justice Merchan first imposed a gag order on Trump in late March, but expanded it a week later after Trump attacked the judge’s daughter on social media.

Trump was ultimately fined thousands of dollars and threatened with jail time for violating the order during his trial.

His legal team asked that the full gag order be lifted after a New York jury found Trump guilty in May. He was convicted of falsifying business records to cover up a hush-money payment made to an adult-film star before the 2016 election.

Prosecutors did not object to lifting the part of the gag order that prevented Trump from commenting on witnesses.

The former president had made several social media posts attacking the prosecution’s star witness, his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Trump had argued that he was simply responding to attacks from Cohen, who had called him a host of names on social media.

In his ruling, Justice Merchan said that although it would “be this Court’s strong preference” to continue to bar Trump from speaking about jurors, he said consistency in the courts required that Trump now be allowed to make comments about the 12-member panel.

But, Justice Merchan said, their identities would remain concealed.



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