Trump expressed contempt for hush-money ban order; receives a $9,000 high-quality and a jail sentence

A judge on Tuesday convicted Donald Trump of contempt of court for repeated violations of the hush money hearing in New York.

Trump violated the gag order nine times in online posts targeting jurors and sure witnesses within the trial, in keeping with Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan governed. He noted that prosecutors couldn’t prove that Trump had violated one other post.

The judge fined Trump a maximum of $1,000 for every of the nine violations and ordered him to remove all posts by 2:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Merchan also specifically warned Trump that he could face prison time if he intentionally violates court orders again.

“The defendant is hereby warned that the court will not tolerate continued willful violations of its lawful orders and that it will, when necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, impose a sentence of imprisonment,” Merchan wrote in his ruling.

Merchan read the order aloud before the trial continued with further testimony from a banker who worked with the previous president's lawyer on a $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

That payment is at the guts of the Manhattan district attorney's case accusing Trump of falsifying business records to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Michael Cohen, the previous Trump lawyer who paid Daniels, applauded the gag order ruling Tuesday morning.

“The fine imposed is irrelevant,” Cohen said in an announcement to NBC News. “Judge Merchan’s decision makes it clear that this behavior will not be tolerated and that no one is above the law.”

A Trump campaign spokesman didn’t immediately reply to CNBC's request for comment on the court ruling.

At a hearing last week on the gag order violations, prosecutors told Merchan that Trump “knows what he can't do, and he does it anyway.”

Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche responded that Trump's posts didn’t violate the gag order because they republished articles and statements from other sources. He also argued that Trump's posts were in response to political commentary and didn’t concentrate on witness testimony.

Blanche insisted within the hearing that Trump was attempting to fastidiously comply with the silence order – prompting Merchan to warn the lawyer that he was “losing all credibility in the court.”

In his order Tuesday, the judge rejected the argument that reposts were exempt from the gag order, writing, “The only credible finding is that the reposts constitute statements made by the defendant.”

Merchan also highlighted a Truth Social post through which Trump paraphrased a claim by Fox News host Jesse Watters that “undercover liberal activists” were “lying to the judge to get on the Trump jury.”

Trump “altered” Watters' words and published them “with the purpose of questioning the legitimacy of the jury selection process in this case,” Merchan wrote. “This is a clear violation of the expanded regulation and requires no further analysis.”

Testimony continues

Gary Farro, a former First Republic Bank executive, took the stand Friday and continued to testify Tuesday.

On the best way into the courtroom, Trump repeated his call for Merchan to withdraw from the case and dismiss it entirely.

“The judge should throw out the case because he doesn’t have a case,” said Trump, who also complained that he was unable to run for president because he was stuck in court.

The historic trial began last week with opening statements and testimony from the primary witnesses, including former National Enquirer editor David Pecker and Trump's longtime private secretary Rhona Graff.

Pecker, the previous CEO of American Media, testified at length about his unofficial role because the “eyes and ears” for Trump's 2016 campaign and his efforts to “capture and kill” damaging information in regards to the reality TV star-turned-presidential candidate “.

American Media paid $30,000 for the rights to a former Trump Tower bouncer's story that Trump had a secret child, Pecker testified, though he got here to imagine the story was unfaithful.

The company also signed a $150,000 contract with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who says she had an extramarital affair with Trump, Pecker said. Pecker, who believed McDougal's story, said he never received a refund for the payment from Trump or his company.

In each cases, Pecker testified that he bought the stories to forestall them from coming to light and embarrassing Trump or damaging his campaign.

But Pecker said he didn't pay to silence Daniels, who says she had sex with Trump when he was married years earlier.

Read more about Trump's hush money trial

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleges that Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer on the time, secretly paid for Daniels' story by opening a checking account for a low-profile shell company and transferring money to it using a house equity line of credit.

After he won the election, Trump secretly compensated Cohen through a series of monthly checks that were misrepresented as being for legal services provided in 2017, prosecutors allege.

Trump, who lost to President Joe Biden in 2020 and is now campaigning to unseat him in November, is required by law to be in court in the course of the trial, which is predicted to last six weeks.

Trump has repeatedly vented his anger over the hush money trial and his three other pending criminal cases, claiming they were intended to undermine his campaign.

Trump's outbursts, a lot of which were directed not only at those involved within the case but additionally at their relations, led Merchan to issue a gag order barring Trump from discussing jurors and sure witnesses.

Prosecutors have accused Trump of violating the gag order greater than a dozen times.

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