Trump Gives In And Pays Gag Order Fine

( – Donald Trump has paid the $9000 fine issued by Judge Juan for violating his gag order. Trump is reported to have paid in full in Thursday, May 2, only to be hit with a further $1000 fine on Monday, May 6, for violating the order yet again.

The gag order was put in place by Judge Merchan as part of the Stormy Daniels hush money trial. Merchan said that he implemented the order to stop Trump from commenting publicly on witnesses, court staff, or their relatives, as Merchan claimed that the former president has a history of making derogatory comments about people involved in the legal system. Trump has been found to have violated the gag order at least ten times, including calling Stormy Daniels a “sleazebag”.

Daniels is a key witness for the prosecution, which alleges that Trump falsely declared checks paid to Daniels as “legal expenses”. The case centers around money that Trump allegedly paid Daniels in order to buy her silence about an affair the adult movie star claimed to have had with him. He is accused of paying her in 2016 in the run up to the presidential election, which prosecutors claim counts as a form of election interference.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 34 charges of falsifying business records, and has lambasted another key witness, Michael Cohen, as a “serial perjurer”. Cohen was Trump’s former attorney and has pled guilty to charges related to the case, claiming to have been involved in making a payment of $130,000 to Daniels in order to prevent her from going public with her claims of an affair.

While giving Trump his additional $1000 fine on Monday, the judge warned him again against making comments that could further violate the terms of the order. Merchan added that as fines did not appear to be an effective deterrent, he would have to consider sentencing Trump to jail for any further instances of contempt. Merchan claimed that sentencing “possibly the next president” to jail was the last thing he wanted to do, saying that it would be disruptive to proceedings and would only be used as a “last resort”.

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