Trump fined $1,000 for violating court order

Trump fined $1,000 for violating court order
Trump fined $1,000 for violating court order

NEW YORK — The judge at Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York fined him $1,000 on Monday for once again violating the order that prohibits the former US president from making inflammatory comments about jurors , witnesses and other people closely related to the case.

Judge Juan M. Merchan also sternly warned the accused that since the $1,000 fines do not appear to be a deterrent, additional violations could earn the ex-president a prison sentence.

This is the second time since the trial began last month that Mr. Trump has been sanctioned for violating the order.

He was fined $9,000 last week, or $1,000 for each of nine violations.

The new violation in the case stems from an April 22 interview with Real America’s Voice in which Mr. Trump criticized the speed with which jurors were selected. He claimed that the jury was made up of Democrats, since the New York area “is predominantly all-Democratic.”

Mr. Trump welcomed this new fine on Monday by shaking his head and crossing his arms, his eyes black. Judge Merchan, however, clarified that a prison sentence remained a measure of last resort.

“The last thing I want to do is put you in jail,” the judge said. You are the former president of the United States and perhaps also the next president. There are many reasons why incarceration is truly a last resort for me. Taking this step would disrupt these procedures.”

Following this announcement, in the absence of the jurors, testimony resumed Monday morning. Prosecutors called Jeffrey McConney, the former internal auditor of the “Trump Organization,” to the stand.

Mr. McConney retired from the company last year after 36 years of service. He was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony for the prosecution at the “Trump Organization” tax fraud trial in New York, where he admitted to breaking the law to help fellow executives avoid taxes on benefits paid by the company. The “Trump Organization” was found guilty, but is appealing the judgment.

The testimony followed an account given to jurors on Friday about Mr. Trump’s reaction to the politically damaging 2005 recording that surfaced in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, in which Mr. Trump bragged about being able to touch women sexually without their permission.

The trial entered its third week of testimony Monday. We will soon hear from the star witness, Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, who pleaded guilty to federal charges related to paying money to buy silence. Mr. Cohen is expected to undergo a bruising cross-examination from defense lawyers, who will try to undermine his credibility with jurors.

Donald Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with payments made to cover up potentially embarrassing stories. Prosecutors say the “Trump Organization” reimbursed Mr. Cohen for payments made to porn actress Stormy Daniels and gave her bonuses and additional payments. Prosecutors say these transactions were falsely recorded in the company’s books as “legal fees.”

Mr. Trump has pleaded not guilty and has denied any sexual relationship with any of the women, as well as any wrongdoing.



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