Trump prosecutors urge judge to maintain silence during sentencing

By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Prosecutors who won Donald Trump’s historic conviction last week on charges related to money paid to a porn star urged a judge on Wednesday to remain silent at least until sentencing of the former American president on July 11. .

Trump’s lawyers asked the court earlier this week Juan Merchan to lift the order restricting the Republican presidential candidate’s public statements about jurors, witnesses and others involved in the case because the trial is over. Merchan imposed the order before the trial began in April, saying Trump’s threatening statements risked derailing the proceedings.

On May 30, a Manhattan jury found Trump guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal the $130,000 payment made by his former lawyer Michael Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels for his silence before the 2016 election over a sexual relationship she claims to have had with Trump. Trump denies this meeting and has promised to appeal his conviction.

In a letter to Merchan on Wednesday, prosecutors from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said the court still has an interest in protecting the remaining proceedings.

“The court has an obligation to protect the integrity of these proceedings and the fair administration of justice, at least during the sentencing hearing and the resolution of any post-trial motions,” the court wrote. prosecutors.

Trump is expected to renew his request for the judge to overturn the jury’s verdict by mid-June, with prosecutors expected to respond at the end of the month. He faces up to four years in prison at his sentencing hearing next month, although fines or probation are more common sanctions for people convicted of falsifying business records.

Merchan fined Trump $10,000 for violating the silence order during the seven-week trial and warned him on May 6 that he would be imprisoned if he violated the order again.

Trump argued that the silence violated his right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. His lawyers said breaking the silence was particularly important since his opponent in the Nov. 5 election, Democratic President Joe Biden, commented on the verdict, and the two are scheduled to debate on June 27.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; editing by Daniel Wallis)

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