Judge Holds Trump Contempt With Fine, Jail Threat For Violating Gag Order In ‘Hush Money’ Trial

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan has held Donald Trump in contempt of court for ‘repeatedly violating’ a gag order in his so-called hush money trial in New York.

According to Merchan, Trump violated the gag order nine times in online posts which targeted jurors or likely witnesses in the trial. The former president was fined the maximum of $1,000 per violation, or $9,000 – and was ordered to remove all of the offending posts by 2:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

What’s more, Merchan threatened to toss Trump in jail if he willfully violates court orders again.

Defendant is hereby warned that the Court will not tolerate continued willful violations of its lawful orders and that if necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, it will impose an incarceratory punishment,” wrote Merchan in his ruling, CNBC reports.

Merchan read the order aloud before the trial resumed with more testimony from a banker who worked with the former president’s lawyer on a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

That payment is at the heart of Manhattan prosecutors’ case accusing Trump of falsifying business records as part of a scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Gary Farro, a former senior managing director at First Republic bank, took the stand Friday and continued testifying Tuesday.

On his way into the courtroom, Trump repeated his call for Merchan to both recuse himself from the case and dismiss it entirely. -CNBC

“The judge should terminate the case because they have no case,” said Trump in response, adding that he’s been unable to campaign for president because he’s stuck in court.

That said, Merchan is allowing Trump to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation on May 17.

The historic trial began last week, which has included testimony from former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, as well as Trump’s longtime personal secretary, Rhona Graff.

Pecker testified to his efforts to “catch and kill” stories that could be damaging to Trump – including one instance in which his company American Media paying $30,000 for the rights to a former Trump Tower doorman’s story about Trump having a secret love child – though Pecker believes the story is untrue.

The company also inked a $150,000 deal with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed to have had an extramarital affair with Trump, according to Pecker.

Pecker said he did not pay to silence Daniels, who claims she had sex with Trump.

As the Epoch Times notes further, Court was resuming Tuesday with Gary Farro, a banker who helped President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen open accounts, including one that Mr. Cohen used to send a payment to adult film performer Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. She alleged a 2006 affair with President Trump, which he denies.

Outside the courtroom Tuesday, President Trump criticized prosecutors again. “This is a case that should have never been brought,” he said.

“Our country’s going to hell and we sit here day after day after day, which is their plan, because they think they might be able to eke out an election,” he declared last week in the courthouse hallway.

Loading…

This post was originally published on this site