Judge will decide if Trump faces fines and jail time after violating gag order in hush money case

 April 16, 2024

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan will decide whether former President Donald Trump violated his gag order in a hearing on April 23, Breitbart reported. Trump allegedly made three social media posts that conflicted with terms Merchan imposed in the hush money trial. 

Merchan's order was issued on March 26 and bars the former president from speaking about attorneys and witnesses involved. The case stems from payments made to former porn star Stormy Daniels around the time of his 2016 campaign to conceal an alleged affair.

Trump is allowed to speak out against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the case against him. However, Trump was supposed to stay mum on anything about Merchan and his staff, and his family, as well as court staff and council, with a penalty of $1,000 for each violation.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Conroy informed the judge that the three posts were made with complete knowledge of the terms of the gag order. "We know that from various posts he had made," Conroy said.

The Posts

Bragg is not only seeking momentary damages but also looking to charge Trump with contempt and put him in jail for 30 days in a motion filed Tuesday, Fox News reported. The offending posts were made on three separate occasions involving witnesses in the case.

The first post on April 10 included a repost from Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, about the gag order against Trump. "We can’t be hypocrites when it comes to the 1st Amendment," Avenatti wrote.

"It is outrageous that Cohen and Daniels can do countless TV interviews, post on social, & make $$ on bogus documentaries—all by talking sh*t about Trump—but he’s gagged and threatened with jail if he responds," the attorney said. Trump then replied, "Thank you to Michael Avenatti --for revealing the truth about two sleeze bags who have, with their lies and misrepresentations, cost our Country dearly!!"

The second post also came on April 10 and featured a photo of Daniels' 2018 statement denying she had an affair with Trump. "LOOK WHAT WAS JUST FOUND! WILL THE FAKE NEWS REPORT IT," Trump captioned a photo of her statement in the post.

The third post spoke out against Mark Pomerantz, the former Manhattan prosecutor, on April 13. Bragg took over the position and said he would not charge Trump, but Pomerantz went on to write a book about the investigation even as it was ongoing.

The Crusade Continues

While Trump is campaigning for president, Bragg and his ilk are doing all they can to thwart his effort to retake the White House. Bragg slapped Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records but now has restricted how he can defend himself during the campaign.

The fines weren't enough for them as Bragg sought in Tuesday's motion to have him jailed. "This Court should warn defendant that future violations of the Court’s restrictions on his extrajudicial statements can be punished not only with additional fines, but also with a term of incarceration of up to thirty days," the motion argued.

The prosecution of a former president and current candidate is already unprecedented. However, what's more shocking is that this appears to be an effort to keep Trump quiet at a crucial time leading up to the November election.

Voters should have the freedom to decide whether Trump deserves another term as president. Instead, Trump faces four criminal trials that were all brought with suspicious timing after his November 2022 announcement that he'd be running for a second term.

The left is so singularly focused on Trump as a villain that they forget that this is not how it's supposed to work in America. Jailing the political opposition is not a good precedent to set in a free country.

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