Former President Donald Trump’s defense attorneys have requested that Judge Juan Merchan, the presiding judge over Trump’s hush-money trial, lift the gag order that has restricted the former president from commenting on witnesses and the case now that the trial is over.

The former president was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records. The six-week-long trial stemmed from charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The request comes as the former president prepares for the first presidential debate against President Joe Biden later this month. The gag order, imposed by Merchan before the trial began, barred the former president from making public statements about witnesses or counsels, court staff and family members of staff.

In a letter written to Merchan on Tuesday, Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, noted that the court’s reasons for imposing the gag order were to protect the integrity of the trial. However, since the trial has ended, the reasons were no longer relevant.

“We respectfully submit this pre-motion letter requesting that Your Honor terminate the gag order restricting President Trump’s extrajudicial statements,” Blanche wrote. “For the reasons set forth below, because the trial has concluded, the stated bases for the gag order no longer exist.”

Trump was fined $10,000 for violating the gag order during the trial and threatened with jail time for further alleged violations. The former president was also asked to remove seven posts from his Truth Social account after Merchan ruled that he had violated the gag order.

Blanche argued that the gag order violates Trump’s First Amendment rights and those of his supporters.

“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, who remains the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election and the American people,” Blanche wrote.

Blanche added that the constitutional mandate for unrestrained campaign advocacy by Trump is even stronger in light of comments made by Biden and his campaign, as well as continued public attacks.