Judge Charges Trump with Contempt for Gag Order Violation

(LibertySociety.com) – Judge Juan Merchan fined former President Trump another $1,000 for violating his gag order during court on May 6 amid the New York hush money trial.

He also charged Trump with contempt of court, stating that he would “have to consider a jail sanction” if the violations continue. Merchan made clear that the 10th gag order violation occurred before the other nine violations, indicating that Trump’s social media posts and media interviews are combed over frequently. The latest violation occurred during a media interview when the 45th president remarked on the political leanings of the jury, stating, “The jury was picked so fast – 95% Democrats.”

Prosecutors sought four new violations, with three stemming from comments Trump made about former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and David Pecker, a former National Enquirer publisher. Merchan said the three others were not threatening in nature and therefore did not qualify as a violation. Merchan told the court that the fines were not working to deter Trump from violating the gag order and warned that incarceration was the next step.

Trump recently filed an appeal to have the gag order removed, but his efforts were shot down by the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court on May 14. However, Trump will likely appeal the ruling to the New York Court of Appeals. He has continuously pointed out that the gag order violates his First Amendment rights and that everyone else involved can make accusations and claims every day while he is forced to stay silent. Trump recently said that he would go to jail to protect the Constitution if necessary.

As the trial proceeds, more Americans are picking up on the politicized nature of the case. A CNN poll recently found that a majority believes that the trial will not be decided fairly. Another new poll from AP-NORC showed that merely one-third of Americans think Trump committed a criminal offense in the case. On May 14, multiple lawmakers, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, attended the trial with the former president.

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