Trump Fined

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

( – Amidst the controversial legal landscape former President Donald Trump is facing at the moment, Judge Juan Merchan issued a $9,000 fine to him and held him in criminal contempt for breaking Merchan’s gag order, which also cautioned that future violations could lead to jail time.

While acknowledging the importance of Trump’s First Amendment rights, Judge Merchan was firm in his stance on upholding the court’s orders. He instructed the former president to remove the offending posts from Truth Social by 2:15 pm on Tuesday and pay the fine by May 3.

Merchan rejected Trump’s argument of political speech, stating that it was in response to criticisms from witnesses like Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels.

“It is critically important that Defendant’s legitimate free speech rights not be curtailed, that he be able to fully campaign for the office which he seeks and that he be able to respond and defend himself against political attacks,” Merchan wrote.

He continued, “[F]or that reason, this Court exercised discretion when it crafted the Expanded Order and delayed issuing it until the eve of trial.”

Prosecutors presented a compelling case, claiming that Trump had breached the order not once but ten times. They urged the judge to impose a maximum penalty of $1,000 for each violation.

The gag order, which Trump is prohibited from commenting on, includes witnesses, prosecutors (except the district attorney), court staff, jurors, and family members of court personnel.

Last week, prosecutors highlighted four new violations, which Merchan will address in a hearing in the following days.

According to Politico, Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche told the judge during a hearing last week considering the alleged violations, “He’s allowed to respond to political attacks, Your Honor.”

He added, “There is no dispute that President Trump is facing a barrage of political attacks from all sides, including from the two witnesses referenced in the early post.”

Merchan initially imposed the gag order on March 26 but expanded it on April 1 after Trump targeted his daughter on social media.

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