Judge Threatens Trump With Jail Time After TENTH Gag Order Violation

(RepublicanPress.org) – Former President Donald Trump’s Manhattan election interference trial recently started its third week of testimony. The judge overseeing the case started the hearing by ruling that the former president violated the court’s gag order for a tenth time. Judge Juan M. Merchan also threatened Trump with jail time if he continues to willfully defy the court order.

On May 6, New York Judge Juan Merchan announced his ruling on the prosecutors’ April 25 supplemental affirmation in support of their motion asking the court to find Trump in criminal contempt for violating the gag order. They listed four alleged violations and asked the court to impose a $1,000 cash fine for each infraction but didn’t request jail time for the defendant.

Merchan said the president’s statement constituted “a direct attack on the rule of law” and threatened to “interfere with the fair administration of justice.” He also said he couldn’t allow Trump’s willful violations of the gag order to continue.

Merchan also warned Trump that he didn’t like the idea of imposing a jail sentence but would if he determined confinement was “necessary and appropriate.”

The judge included similar language in his five-page ruling. Merchan sided with prosecutors, who argued that Trump violated the gag order when he made “public comments about the jury” and its manner of selection, as detailed in People’s Exhibit F. He ruled in the former president’s favor on the other three alleged infractions.

Merchan wrote that imposing monetary fines had not, and would not deter Trump from future violations since this was the former president’s 10th contempt violation, “spanning three separate motions.”

Therefore, Merchan put Trump “on notice” that future violations would “be punishable by incarceration” if the court determined it necessary and warranted to prevent the defendant from continuing to violate the court’s lawful orders.

Trump held an informal press conference after the conclusion of that day’s witness testimony. He told reporters that Merchan said he would go to jail if he violated the gag order again. He continued that the Constitution was “much more important than jail,” adding that he would “do that sacrifice any day,” a reference to his willingness to spend time behind bars.

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