Judge Goes After Trump for Another Gag Order Violation

Judge Goes After Trump for Another Gag Order Violation

(USNewsBreak.com) – Former President Donald Trump’s hush-money trial is well underway in Manhattan. He is facing 34 felony charges for allegedly covering up payments he made to his former attorney, Michael Cohen, who reportedly paid off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to keep them from coming forward during his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has denied all allegations against him. He also seemingly refuses to abide by the non-dissemination (gag) order Judge Juan Merchan issued before the case started. Now, he’s facing potential jail time if he continues to violate the directive.

$9,000 Fine for 9 Violations

On Tuesday, April 30, Merchan held Trump in contempt of court for the first time. The prosecution had presented 10 posts they said the former president published on his social media platform, attacking those on the prohibited list.

Merchan ruled the former president violated the court order with nine of his posts and slapped the presumptive GOP nominee with the maximum allowable fine: $1,000 fine per incident. He also ordered Trump to remove the nine posts, and the former president complied that afternoon.

However, the judge also expressed concern that the fines wouldn’t dissuade Trump from violating the order again.

Another Violation — And a Warning

On Monday, May 6, Merchan held Trump in contempt of court again – – – his tenth violation. The judge imposed another $1,000 fine. In the order, Merchan took a stern tone and told the former president he was “on notice that if appropriate and warranted, future violations […] will be punishable by incarceration.” He clearly stated that the “fines [were] not serving as a deterrent” and that should future violations occur, the “court will have to consider a jail sanction.”

The gag order specifically bars Trump from attacking jurors, witnesses, court staff, and some of the prosecutors. It does not prohibit him from targeting Judge Merchan or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The former president has asserted that the non-dissemination order violated his First Amendment rights. He went on record, saying, “our Constitution is much more important than jail” and that he would make “that sacrifice any day.”

Trump has also taken the opportunity to use the threats as a fundraising tactic. He’s emailed his supporters, telling them New York and the federal courts are unjustly prosecuting him and that the court system wants to see him handcuffed and jailed, urging them to send donations to help him fight the cause.

Many Republicans have stood staunchly with the former president, who pundits expect will win the GOP nomination for the 2024 presidency at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

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