Judge Fines Trump Another $1,000

May 6, 2024

In an unprecedented legal twist, former President Donald Trump was fined $1,000 for the tenth time for violating a gag order related to his ongoing criminal trial. This Monday, Justice Juan Merchan, overseeing the trial, expressed his growing frustration over the repeated infractions. He warned that continued non-compliance could result in jail time, a measure yet to be used in this historic trial.

Donald Trump is facing charges from incidents dating back to the 2016 election concerning a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels. These charges claim that Trump falsified business records to hide the payment, an allegation that Trump denies, pleading not guilty.

The gag order, implemented by Justice Merchan, prohibits any public discussion about the jurors and witnesses involved in the trial. This measure aims to protect the integrity of the trial process. Despite the financial penalties, which now total $10,000, Trump’s conduct suggests that the fines have had little impact on deterring his public comments about the trial specifics.


During a recent broadcast interview on April 22, Trump criticized the jury selection process, claiming, “That jury was picked so fast – 95% Democrats. The area’s mostly all Democrat.” This statement led to the latest fine, as it was seen as a direct violation of the gag order. However, Justice Merchan ruled that Trump’s other comments during the interview regarding witnesses Michael Cohen and David Pecker did not breach the order.

Justice Merchan highlighted the gravity of the situation by stating that Trump’s actions represent a “direct attack on the rule of law.” He noted that while the possibility of jail time remains a last resort, it may become necessary if violations continue. The potential imprisonment of a former president during a trial would not only disrupt the proceedings but also pose significant security challenges and complicate the upcoming 2024 presidential election, where Trump is a candidate.

“You are the former president of the United States and possibly the next president as well. There are many reasons why incarceration is truly a last resort for me. To take that step would be disruptive to these proceedings,” Merchan said.

 

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