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Trump Trial Escalates as Judge Issues 10th Contempt Finding

May 6, 2024

 

 

 

The ongoing criminal trial of former President Donald Trump in New York reached a pivotal moment on Monday as Judge Juan Merchan issued a 10th contempt finding against the defendant. The judge imposed another $1,000 fine for Trump’s repeated violations of a gag order restricting his commentary on the case, warning of potential jail sanctions if the behavior persists.

“Going forward, this court will have to consider a jail sanction if it is recommended,” Merchan stated, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation. “Mr. Trump, the last thing I want to do is put you in jail. You are a former president of the United States and possibly the next one as well.”

Merchan’s decision stemmed from Trump’s April 22 interview, where he breached the gag order by discussing the political composition of the jury. The judge condemned Trump’s remarks, stating they “called into question the integrity and legitimacy of these proceedings” and raised concerns about juror safety.

Prior to the contempt ruling, prosecutors called Jeffrey McConney, the retired controller of the Trump Organization, to the stand. This followed testimony from Hope Hicks, Trump’s former top communications aide, who discussed handling revelations about pre-election “hush money” payments to two women.

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records related to reimbursements to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to silence her about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump. Trump maintains his innocence, pleading not guilty to all charges.

 

 

Credit: CBS News

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