NEW YORK (NEWSnet/AP) — A gag order that resulted in fines against former president Donald Trump for his comments during a recent state of New York criminal trial has been modified somewhat.

Judge Juan M. Merchan ruled Tuesday that Trump, who is the leading Republican presidential candidate and scheduled for a candidate debate Thursday, can comment publicly about witnesses and jurors in that specific trial. Comments about others connected to the case are off limits at least until he’s sentenced July 11.

Trump was convicted May 30 of falsifying records to cover up a potential sex scandal during his 2016 presidential election bid.

Trump’s lawyers had urged Merchan to lift the gag order completely, arguing there was nothing to justify continued restrictions on Trump’s First Amendment rights after the trial’s conclusion. Trump has said that the gag order has prevented him from defending himself while others can speak

The crime is punishable by up to four years behind bars, but prosecutors have not said if they would seek incarceration, and it’s unclear if Merchan would impose such a sentence.

Other options include a fine or probation.

Following his conviction, Trump complained that he was under a “nasty gag order” while also testing its limits.

Trump’s lawyers, who said they were under the impression the gag order would end with a verdict, wrote a letter to Merchan on June 4 asking him to lift the order.

Merchan issued Trump’s gag order on March 26, a few weeks before the start of the trial, and expanded the range at a later date.

During the trial, Merchan held Trump in contempt of court, fined him $10,000 for violating the gag order and threatened to put him in jail if he did it again.

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