Judge Reminds Trump Of Incarceration Option For Repeated Gag Order Violations

(NewsSpace.com) – Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York City for allegedly falsifying business reports to hide hush-money payments. In March, Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the case, issued a non-dissemination (gag) order, prohibiting Trump from making remarks about key witnesses, court staff, jurors, and some of the prosecution. He has already been fined $9,000 for nine violations. Now, in the face of even more incidents, the judge is cautioning that jail isn’t off the table.

On Monday, May 6, Merchan found Trump in contempt again, marking the 10th such violation. The judge warned the former president that his “continued willful violations constitute a direct attack on the rule of law,” and while he has tried to avoid sending Trump to jail, he would do it “as necessary and if appropriate.” However, Merchan noted that throwing the former president behind bars would “obstruct the proceedings,” and incarceration should be “the last resort.” Trump reportedly had no visible reaction to the statement.

However, later on, Trump noted that “our Constitution is much more important than jail,” and that he would “do that sacrifice any day.” The former president has long maintained that the gag order violates his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. He also capitalized on the judge’s threats by sending out emails to his supporters with emphasized text saying the judge “threatened to THROW ME IN JAIL” and liberals want him “in HANDCUFFS.” The emails directed supporters to send in donations.

The trial is continuing, with several key witnesses taking the stand, including Sally Franklin, who works with the publishing group Penguin Random House, Trump’s former assistant Rhona Graff, tabloid publisher David Pecker, and Gary Farro, a former banker for Michael Cohen.

Stormy Daniels, the woman at the heart of the case behind the hush-money payments, took the stand on Tuesday, May 7.

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