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Major blow to Trump: Court imposes fine for violating gag order and raises threat of jail in hush money trial

The judge overseeing Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial fined the former US president $9,000 on Tuesday for statements that he found violated a gag order in the case.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New York Updated on: April 30, 2024 20:36 IST
Former US President Donald Trump hush money trial
Image Source : AP Former US President Donald Trump

Former US President Donald Trump was held in contempt of court Tuesday and fined $9,000 for repeatedly violating a gag order that barred him from making public statements about witnesses, jurors and some others connected to his New York hush-money case.

Prosecutors had alleged 10 violations, but New York Judge Juan M. Merchan found there were nine. Still, the ruling was a stinging rebuke for the Republican former president, who had insisted he was exercising his free speech rights.

The ruling came at the start of the second week of testimony in the historic case. Manhattan prosecutors say Trump and his associates took part in an illegal scheme to influence the 2016 presidential campaign by burying negative stories. He has pleaded not guilty. Trump was joined in the courtroom by his son Eric, the first time a family member has attended his criminal trial.

Trump pays porn star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence

Trump, the Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election, is charged with falsifying business records to conceal a $1,30,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied having sex with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. The historic criminal trial is the first of a former US president and began on April 22.

Roughly two dozen Trump supporters rallied outside the courthouse on Tuesday morning, chanting his name and waving banners that read "TRUMP 24". A local Republican organization had called for supporters to turn out after Trump complained that few people were protesting the trial.

Banker Garry Farro, who is not accused of wrongdoing, testified on Friday about financial records filed by Trump's onetime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who prosecutors say helped carry out the scheme. Trump is required to attend the trial and has said he could instead be campaigning ahead of his rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 5 election. The criminal case is one of four pending against Trump but could be the only one to go to trial and result in a verdict before the election.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: Trump hush money trial: Prosecutors say former US President corrupted 2016 election I KEY TAKEAWAYS

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