Judge Threatens Trump with Jail Time for Gag Order Violations

(BrightPress.org) – Judge Juan Merchan held Donald Trump in contempt and fined him $9,000 for violating a gag order issued in the “hush money” trial.

The gag order is meant to prohibit Trump from making any public statements or threats about witnesses and jurors during the trial. Prosecutors brought ten instances where Trump made public comments and posts on Truth Social they believe violated the gag order. Judge Merchan agreed that nine of the posts did, in fact, violate the order and fined Trump $1,000 per violation which is the maximum fine. Judge Merchan also warned Trump he could be incarcerated for any further violations of the gag order.

The judge explained that jail time may be a better deterrent than fines for Trump, considering his wealth.

Attorneys for Trump, Todd Blanche, and Emil Bove, claim Trump’s posts and statements are in response to a “barrage of political attacks” but could not provide an example of the so-called attacks to the judge. Bove said some of the posts were “reposts” without commentary from Trump and therefore did not violate the order. Blanche supported the argument saying it was “common sense” even though he did not provide case law to support the claim. Merchan disagreed and declared that a re-post is, “in fact, a statement of the Defendant.”

Merchan ruled that one of the ten posts presented by the prosecution was not a violation because it was a direct response to posts made by Michael Cohen. Merchan asserted the gag order is meant to protect witnesses and jurors and should “not be used as a sword instead of a shield” by those it is meant to protect. He continued to say that if Cohen or other witnesses continue to attack Trump publicly “it becomes apparent” they no longer require the protection of the order.

Cohen agreed to refrain from commenting about Trump until after his testimony in the case.

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