Trump asks judge to lift gag order after conviction in hush money case

Former U.S. President Trump found guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records

By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Donald Trump on Tuesday asked the judge who oversaw his criminal trial on charges stemming from hush money paid to a porn star to lift a gag order on the case, in which the former U.S. president was convicted last week.

Before the trial began in April, Justice Juan Merchan restricted Trump's public statements about jurors, witnesses and others involved in the case, after prosecutors pointed to comments he had made in the past that they described as threatening.

"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," defense lawyer Todd Blanche wrote in a letter dated June 3 and made public on Tuesday.

A Manhattan jury last week found Trump guilty on all 34 counts he faced of falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election about a sexual encounter she says they had.

Trump, the Republican candidate in the 2024 election, denies having sex with Daniels and has vowed to appeal the conviction.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)