Helena Lyng Blak
3 weeks ago

‘Hush Money’ Trial: Trump Fined $9,000 for Violating Gag Order

Former President Donald Trump faces a $9,000 fine for multiple violations of a court-imposed gag order during his ongoing legal proceedings.
12.07.2018. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. Press conference of Donald Trump, President of United States of America, during NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) SUMMIT 2018. " — Photo by gints.ivuskans
12.07.2018. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. Press conference of Donald Trump, President of United States of America, during NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) SUMMIT 2018. " — Photo by gints.ivuskans

On Tuesday, April 30, 2024, New York Judge Juan Merchan fined former United States President Donald Trump $9,000 for contempt of court. 

The judge found that Trump had in nine out of 10 social media posts flagged by the prosecution violated the gag order placed on him. A gag order is a legal directive that restricts parties involved from discussing case details publicly.

The order was intended to prevent the former president from criticizing the jury and personnel involved in the trial.

Trump was fined $1,000 for each violation.

The judge further warned Trump not to violate the gag order again, or he would risk a more severe penalty.

“Defendant is hereby warned that the Court will not tolerate willful violations of its lawful orders and that if necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, it will impose an incarceratory punishment,” Judge Merchan wrote, according to Reuters.

The ‘Hush Money’ Trial Until Now

On April 15, the unprecedented criminal trial of Donald Trump began, marking a significant moment in American legal history as the first criminal trial ever against a former US president.

This trial is the first of four criminal cases against Trump slated for court.

Trump faces allegations of "repeatedly and fraudulently" falsifying business records.

Central to the case is the claim that Trump orchestrated a payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to prevent her going public with information of an alleged affair. This payment was reportedly facilitated by his former attorney Michael Cohen.

On Monday, April 22, the trial began with contrasting opening statements from the prosecution and defense.

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo framed the case as a "criminal conspiracy and a cover-up," accusing Trump of orchestrating a scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election and covering it up by falsifying New York business records.

On the other hand, Trump’s defense lawyer, Todd Blanche, vehemently declared Trump's innocence, refraining from referring to Trump as 'the defendant,' choosing instead 'President Trump,' citing ‘respect’ for the office he held. 

Blanche challenged the premise of the charges, suggesting that influencing an election is a normal part of democratic processes, and defended the legality of non-disclosure agreements. 

Trump also faces additional charges in separate cases related to vote manipulation in Georgia, interference in the January 6th Capitol riots, and the unlawful handling of classified documents.

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