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Trump fined $1,000 for gag order violation in hush money case as judge warns of possible jail time

NEW YORK — The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s hush money trial has fined him $1,000 for violating his gag order and sternly warned the previous president that further violation may consequence in jail time.

The wonderful marks the second sanction for Trump for inflammatory feedback about witnesses for the reason that begin of the trial final month. He was fined $9,000 final week for 9 violations.

Judge Juan M. Merchan warned Monday that further gag order violations may probably consequence in jail time, although he stated that was “the last thing I want to do.”

Prosecutors in Trump’s hush money trial are transferring deeper into his orbit following an inside-the-room account concerning the former president’s response to a politically damaging recording that surfaced in the ultimate weeks of the 2016 marketing campaign.

Donald Trump sits in Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 6, 2024 in New York.
Donald Trump sits in Manhattan felony court docket, Monday, May 6, 2024 in New York. AP

Hope Hicks, a former White House official and for years a prime aide, is by far the closest Trump affiliate to have taken the witness stand in the Manhattan trial.

Her testimony Friday was designed to offer jurors an insider’s view of a chaotic and pivotal stretch in the marketing campaign, when a 2005 recording displaying Trump speaking about grabbing ladies with out their permission was made public and when he and his allies sought to forestall the discharge of different probably embarrassing tales. That effort, prosecutors say, included hush money funds to a porn actor and Playboy mannequin who each have stated they’d sexual encounters with Trump earlier than he entered politics.

“I had a good sense to believe this was going to be a massive story and that it was going to dominate the news cycle for the next several days,” Hicks stated of the “Access Hollywood” recording, first revealed in an October 2016 Washington Post story. “This was a damaging development.”

The trial enters its third week of testimony Monday with prosecutors constructing towards their star witness, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and private fixer who pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the hush money payments. Cohen is anticipated to endure a bruising cross-examination from protection attorneys looking for to undermine his credibility with jurors.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying enterprise information in reference to funds made to stifle probably embarrassing tales. Prosecutors say Trump’s firm, the Trump Organization, reimbursed Cohen for funds to porn actor Stormy Daniels and gave Cohen bonuses and further funds. Prosecutors allege that these transactions had been falsely logged in firm information as authorized bills.

Trump has pleaded not responsible and denied sexual encounters with any of the ladies, as effectively as any wrongdoing.

So far, jurors have heard from witnesses together with a tabloid magazine publisher and Trump friend who bought the rights to a number of sordid tales about Trump to forestall them from popping out and a Los Angeles lawyer who negotiated hush money offers on behalf of each Daniels and Playboy mannequin Karen McDougal.

Trump’s legal professionals have tried to chip away on the prosecution’s idea of the case and the credibility of some witnesses.

They’ve raised questions throughout cross-examinations about whether or not Trump was probably a goal of extortion, compelled to rearrange payouts to suppress dangerous tales and spare his household embarrassment and ache. Prosecutors preserve the funds had been about preserving his political viability as he sought the presidency.

The case is one of 4 Trump prosecutions and probably the one one that may attain trial earlier than the November election. Other felony indictments cost him with plotting to subvert the 2020 presidential election after he misplaced to Democrat Joe Biden and illegally hoarding classified documents after he left the White House.

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