Fri. May 24th, 2024

Judge finds Trump further violated gag order and again threatens him with jail ‘if necessary’

By 37ci3 May7,2024

On Monday, Judge Juan Merchan again referred to the past President Donald Trump warned he could be arrested “if necessary” for breaching a court-ordered gag order and continuing to defy it.

Merchan previously found Trump in nine other traffic violations and fined him $9,000. In making this decision, Merchan warned Trump that continued violation of the order could result in arrest. On Monday, a judge fined him an additional $1,000 for the additional violation and reiterated his warning that he could face jail time.

“It appears that $1,000 fines are not acting as a deterrent,” Merchan said.

“The last thing I want is to put you in jail,” he said. “You are a former president of the United States and you may be the next president.”

“There are many reasons why incarceration is really a last resort for you,” he continued, adding that taking that step would “disrupt the processes.”

But Merchan warned Trump that “his continued willful violation of the orders of this court threatens the administration of justice and constitutes a direct attack on the rule of law.” I cannot allow this to continue.”

Merchan also said that if the offensive statement was posted on Trump’s Truth Social account or his official campaign website, it must be removed by 2:15 p.m.

Merchan ruled Monday that Trump’s comments in an interview last month that the jury was “picked too quickly” and were “95% Democrats” violated the gag order. The order prohibits Trump from debating jurors or witnesses with the intent to influence their verdict or testimony.

“In so doing, the defendant not only called into question the integrity and therefore the legitimacy of these proceedings, but also raised fears for the safety of jurors and their loved ones,” Merchan wrote.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that Mercha’s gag order is unfair and unconstitutional. “This judge waived my constitutional right,” Trump said in the hallway last week after initially being held in contempt of court. “I think we are making a constitutional proposal today.”

He added: “If someone says something about me and I’m not allowed to respond, that’s never happened before.”

Trump has repeatedly complained about his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is expected to testify for the prosecution. Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, argued in court Thursday that Cohen’s comments about Trump meant the former president could respond. He also argued that as a presidential candidate Trump should be able to defend himself, pointing to a statement by President Joe Biden that appeared to hint at the case.

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By 37ci3

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