New York judge partially lifts gag order on Trump ahead of… | WORLD
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

New York judge partially lifts gag order on Trump ahead of presidential debate

Former President Donald Trump Associated Press/Photo by Chris Szagola, file

New York judge partially lifts gag order on Trump ahead of presidential debate

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan on Tuesday struck down two provisions of a three-part gag order on former President Donald Trump. The gag order pertained to Trump’s recent criminal trial in the state, in which a 12-person jury found him guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records. Trump has maintained his innocence even after the verdict.

What was in this gag order? Before the trial began, Merchan issued an order preventing Trump from targeting court staff, prosecutors, jurors, and witnesses during the trial. He updated that gag order to include family members of court staff after Trump made critical comments about Merchan’s daughter.

What provisions of the order did the judge strike down? Merchan struck down the provisions that prevented Trump from criticizing witnesses and jurors. The witnesses were no longer involved in the legal proceedings, so the court could not prevent Trump from aiming critical remarks at them, Merchan said.

The jurors were also no longer involved in the legal proceedings so the court could not prevent Trump from criticizing them either, Merchan said. Even so, Merchan left an order in place instructing the court to protect the jurors’ anonymity. Because court staff and prosecutors would be involved in upcoming sentencing proceedings, Merchan kept intact the provision of the gag order applying to them.

What does this all mean? Trump is scheduled to face off against President Joe Biden in Atlanta, Ga., at 9 p.m. on Thursday in the first presidential debate of the election season. While on stage, he can criticize the witnesses and jurors in his New York trial without facing legal consequences. Trump and Biden have both agreed to use mics that will be muted when it’s not their time to speak. They’ve also agreed to remain standing for the 90-minute debate and not to use pre-written notes. The debate also will not feature a live studio audience.

Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard and Carolina Lumetta’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast discussing the presidential debate.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

An actual newsletter worth subscribing to instead of just a collection of links. —Adam

Sign up to receive The Sift email newsletter each weekday morning for the latest headlines from WORLD’s breaking news team.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...