Donald Trump Should Remain Gagged, Says Former Lawyer

donald trump should remain gagged, says former lawyer

Former U.S. President Donald Trump walks to speak to the media after being found guilty following his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024 in New York City. Trump's ex-impeachment lawyer said the former president should remain under gag order until his hush money sentencing on July 11.

The gag order imposed on Donald Trump during his hush money trial should remain until the former president is sentenced next month, according to a lawyer who defended Trump during his first impeachment trial.

Speaking to CNN NewsNight, Robert Ray said that he has "absolutely no problem" with prosecutors for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office asking Judge Juan Merchan who oversaw the historic trial, to keep the gag order imposed on his former client until sentencing on July 11.

"I have absolutely no problem, frankly, with the prosecutor's real concern about safety," Ray said. "There are wing nuts out there in the period of time between now and when the trial court's role in this case ends. I don't think it's worth taking the chance that anybody could do harm to any of the core personnel, the judges staff, most importantly, the judge and certainly the district attorney and his staff."

Trump, who was found guilty of 34 falsifying business records charges on May 30, was placed under gag order by Merchan to prevent the former president from making public comments about court staff, jurors, potential witnesses and others during his New York trial. Trump was previously fined $10,000 and held in criminal contempt for violating the gag order 10 times. Trump still denies wrongdoing and is considering an appeal against the criminal conviction.

In court filings submitted on Friday, Manhattan prosecutors requested the gag order against Trump remain in place as the former president has not "exempted the jurors from his alarming rhetoric" that he would try to seek retribution as president against those involved in the trial.

Prosecutors added officials had logged 56 "actionable threats" against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, his family, and staff of the District Attorney's office, since the hush money trial started in April.

Ray said "the case isn't over until the sentencing is heard" on July 11. He added: "My view of that is better safe than sorry and so any gag order that would help lend itself to calming the temperature here and getting us safely through this proceeding, I think is the right course."

Trump's legal team has been contacted for comment via email.

The presumptive 2024 Republican candidate has long fought against the gag order, saying it is an unconstitutional violation of his right to free speech amid his latest White House campaign.

"Now that the trial is concluded, the concerns articulated by the government and the court do not justify continued restrictions on the First Amendment rights of President Trump—who remains the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election—and the American people," Trump lawyer Todd Blanche previously wrote in court filings.

The gag order was put in place after the former president made multiple comments about Merchan's daughter on social media, including calling her a "Rabid Trump Hater."

Merchan is expected to make a decision of whether to keep the gag order in place soon, possibly before the live presidential debate between Trump and President Joe Biden on June 27, according to The Associated Press.

Under the gag order imposed on him, Trump is allowed to verbally attack Merchan and the case against him.

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