Bragg's Office Opposes Trump's Request To Lift Gag Order After Trial

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office opposed Donald Trump’s efforts to have a gag order lifted now that his hush money trial is over, saying in a letter it should stay in effect at least through sentencing and any post-trial motions.

In the letter made public Wednesday, assistant DAs within Bragg’s office shot down claims from Trump’s legal team that there’s no longer a need for the gag order, which prohibited Trump from speaking publicly about various people involved in the case, which crescendoed last week when the jury found the former president guilty on 34 felony charges.

The gag order, the assistant DAs wrote, was “based not only on the need to avoid threats to the fairness of the trial itself ... but also on the Court’s broader ‘obligation to prevent actual harm to the integrity of the proceedings’; to protect ‘the orderly administration of this Court’; and to avoid ‘risk[s] to the administration of justice.’”

The court has an obligation to make sure Trump’s commentary does not impact “the integrity of these proceedings and the fair administration of justice at least through the sentencing hearing and the resolution of any post-trial motions,” they concluded.

The letter was addressed to New York County Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan, who oversaw the case and put the gag order into effect after Trump made several disparaging comments about people involved in the case. The initial gag order only covered jurors, lawyers or potential witnesses, but it was later expanded to include the Bragg’s and Merchan’s families.

Trump’s legal team on Tuesday requested the gag order be lifted, saying it could impact the “constitutional mandate for unrestrained campaign advocacy” by Trump, the presumed GOP nominee for president. They noted the June 27 presidential debate and comments President Joe Biden has made about the verdict, criticizing Trump for calling it a “rigged, disgraceful trial.”