Judge Fines Trump

Former President Donald Trump was fined $9,000 on Tuesday for violating a gag order in his New York hush-money case, a judge announced. The gag order prohibited him from making public statements about witnesses, jurors, and certain other parties involved in the trial. If Trump violates the order again, he faces the possibility of jail time.

The contempt ruling by New York Judge Juan M. Merchan was based on nine violations of the gag order, although prosecutors initially alleged ten. In a written decision, Judge Merchan emphasized that further willful violations would not be tolerated and could lead to imprisonment. As part of the ruling, Trump is required to remove certain posts from his Truth Social account and his campaign website that were in violation of the gag order.

It just so happens that on May 2, Merchan will hear arguments for other alleged gag order violations and will rule on those later as well.

However, the Judge did surprise many and will allow former President Donald Trump to attend his son’s high school graduation.

The court proceedings continued with testimony from Gary Farro, a banker who assisted Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, in setting up bank accounts used in the transactions. Cohen’s accounts were involved in paying Stormy Daniels, a porn performer who claimed she had an encounter with Trump in 2006, an allegation Trump denies.

During the trial, jurors have also heard from other key figures, including Trump’s former executive assistant, Rhona Graff, and former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker. Pecker described a “catch and kill” strategy used to prevent damaging stories about Trump from becoming public. He testified that he facilitated payments to silence stories from various individuals, although he was not involved in the payment to Daniels.

It’s also interesting that the order came down on the morning after far-left protestors took over and barricaded a building at Columbia University.

The prosecution is building its case around 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to these hush money payments, pointing to extensive email exchanges and financial transactions. Key testimony is expected from Michael Cohen himself, who has already served time in federal prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations among other charges.

The trial is set to continue for at least another month, with more testimonies and legal arguments expected. As the proceedings unfold, the implications of these allegations and the legal challenges they present continue to draw significant public and media attention.


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