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Trump’s hush money judge rolls back gag order to let convicted ex-president attack witnesses and jurors

Donald Trump is free to speak out against witnesses and jurors in his hush money trial after the judge presiding over the case agreed to roll back protections intended to shield them from his attacks.

The narrowly tailored gag order was intended to address the “significant concerns” about the now-criminally convicted former president compromising the trial’s integrity, as he routinely lashed out at people involved in the case and fueled abuse and harassment aimed at judges, prosecutors and their families.

But “circumstances have now changed,” Justice New York Justice Juan Merchan wrote on Tuesday.

A jury found Trump guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records connected with an election interference scheme that involved buying the silence of adult film star Stormy Daniels.

With the verdict rendered and the jury discharged, and without opposition from Manhattan prosecutors, the judge agreed to lift a portion of the gag order intended to protect trial witnesses like Daniels and his former attorney Michael Cohen.

The judge also lifted protections for jurors, though he said it is his “strong preference” to keep them in place.

Protections for court staff, district attorney’s office staff and their families will remain in place until after Trump is sentenced on July 11.

Trump’s legal team has repeatedly called on courts to lift the entire gag order. His communications director Steven Cheung called the judge’s latest decision “unlawful” and “blatantly un-American” for leaving protections in place ahead of a presidential debate on Thursday.

“President Trump and his legal team will immediately challenge today’s unconstitutional order,” he told The Independent.

In a filing on Friday, District Attorney Alvin Bragg said

Read more on independent.co.uk