New York prosecutors recommend extending Trump’s gag order until July sentencing

Manhattan prosecutors want Trump to stay gagged until ​July sentencing, creating a hurdle before a potential debate with Biden. Matthew Colangelo supports the ⁣order, advocating for‍ silence⁤ post-trial. The gag order​ restricts Trump from commenting on the case and specific individuals. The defense argues to lift the⁢ order, citing restrictions on Trump’s First Amendment rights post-trial. In Manhattan, prosecutors push for Trump to remain silenced until his July sentencing, complicating any future debate ​with Biden. Colangelo backs ‌the gag order, preventing Trump from discussing the case and individuals.⁢ On ⁤the contrary, the defense seeks to ​remove the order, highlighting constraints on Trump’s post-trial First Amendment rights.

Prosecutors with Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg‘s office said Donald Trump should remain gagged while he awaits his sentencing in July, potentially placing the former president in a bind as he prepares to debate President Joe Biden in late June.

Matthew Colangelo, a prosecutor for Bragg who left a high-ranking position in the Biden Justice Department in 2022, wrote a letter to Judge Juan Merchan asking for the order restricting Trump’s speech to remain in place through a July 11 sentencing hearing and through additional post-trial motions. Trump on Tuesday asked the judge to remove the gag order just days after Trump was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks to the media after a jury found former President Donald Trump guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“The People oppose any immediate termination of the Orders and agree with defendant’s proposal for further briefing. We request that the Court adopt the same briefing schedule that the Court set for all other post-trial motions, with defendant’s motion due on June 13 and the People’s response due by June 27,” Colangelo wrote in his letter.

Trump has been under a gag order since April that bars him from making comments about the jury that presided over the weekslong trial as well as specific witnesses in the case, family members of prosecutors, and the daughter of Merchan due to Trump’s past comments about her work for Democrats who have championed the case against the former president. Trump and his allies raised awareness about her advocacy work in an effort to call on Merchan to recuse from the case.

Defense attorney Todd Blanche argued Tuesday that the gag order should be lifted in response to the Biden campaign using Trump’s guilty verdict as a platform to discourage voters from choosing Trump as the next president.

“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,” attorney Todd Blanche wrote in his letter on Tuesday.

Blanche also cited the first presidential debate on June 27 as a reason why the order should be lifted.

FILE – In this combination of photos, President Joe Biden speaks on Aug. 10, 2023, in Salt Lake City, from left, former President Donald Trump speaks on July 8, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo, File)

“The defense does not concede that there was ever a valid basis for the gag order and reserves the right to challenge the irreparable First Amendment harms caused by the order,” Blanche wrote in a footnote in the letter.

Trump was fined $10,000 for violating the gag order during the trial, and Merchan threatened Trump with jail time for further alleged violations.

“The last thing I want to consider is jail,” Merchan said. “You are [the] former president and possibly the next president.”


Trump will be sentenced on July 11 at 10 a.m. local time, just days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where he is slated to be formally nominated as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

It is unclear whether Merchan will be sentencing Trump to any detention time, whether the sentence will involve merely a fine and probation, or whether Merchan will delay the sentence depending on the outcome of the election in November.

Read the letter here:

2024.06.04 People’s Response Re Extrajudicial Speech by Kaelan Deese on Scribd

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