Trump is threatened with jail time and additional fines for violating a gag order as his New York trial continues

 May 7, 2024

Former President Donald Trump was back in a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday as his New York hush money trial resumed amid threats of jail time for further gag order violations, Fox News reported. The trial is expected to last another two weeks or more. 

Trump's unprecedented trial has kept the presumptive nominee for the 2024 GOP ticket tied up in court. Meanwhile, Judge Juan Merchan has imposed a gag order that prevents a candidate from speaking publicly about his ordeal.

The former president has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records stemming from payments made to former porn star Stormy Daniels. The payment was made around the time of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign to keep mum about an alleged affair.

The issue mostly boils down to a difference of opinion on how such a payment would be classified as a presidential candidate. Regardless of the validity of the charges, the left has gotten exactly what it's after.

The Judge's Warning

Trump is tied up in court defending himself rather than out campaigning, just as Democrats had likely hoped. Meanwhile, Merchan has been punishing Trump each time he violates the gag order, so far to the tune of $10,000.

The order prevents Trump from publicly commenting about officials and witnesses involved in the case or in court, with the exception of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. During proceedings Monday, Merchan ruled that Trump had violated the order and issued a stern warning about his future.

The judge not only fined Trump $1,000 for posting on Truth Social about his case, he also warned the former president that he'd "consider a jail sentence" if Trump kept it up. "The last thing I want to consider is jail," Merchan claimed.

"You are [the] former president and possibly the next president. The magnitude of that decision is not lost on me," he added.

"Your continued willful violation of the court’s order … constitutes a direct attack … and will not be allowed to continue. … It is not allowed to continue.

Ulterior Motives?

The case against Trump in New York is notoriously weak, suggesting that keeping Trump occupied is the goal rather than justice. Even leftist CNN published a piece by legal expert David Orentlicher warning that the charges were improper and unlikely to hold water.

Orentlicher, who is the Judge Jack and Lulu Lehman Professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, warned that the charges would likely not stick because of the legal gymnastics required to convict him. Trump is accused of making the payments as part of a larger election interference theme, which is a stretch.

"Bragg and other prosecutors ought to hold Trump accountable for his misconduct, and both criminal and civil charges may be necessary to do so. But it also is essential that charges be brought for misdeeds that are truly unlawful," Orentlicher wrote.

He warned of the implications if this strategy against Trump succeeds. "Once law enforcement officials stretch the law in pursuit of one defendant, they will inevitably do so for other persons, and that will ultimately undermine the rule of law," Orentlicher concluded.

Trump has been put through the wringer with this trial. The threats about jail time and additional fines appear to be an intimidation tactic that serves the agenda over sort of pursuit of justice.

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