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Judผล สลากกินแบ่ง รัฐบาล 1 กันยายน 2563ลอตเตอรี่ 16 ตุลาคม 2561ge fines Trump for contempt, threatens jail

Market | ผล สลากกินแบ่ง รัฐบาล 1 กันยายน 2563ลอตเตอรี่ 16 ตุลาคม 2561 | Updated: 2024-06-13 14:33:58

Former US President Donald Trump returning to the courtroom after a break for his criminal trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York, the US, on April 30. [Photo/Agencies]

Former president Donald Trump was held in contempt of court Tuesday for repeatedly violating a gag order in his criminal trial, ordered to pay a fine of $9,000 and warned by the trial judge if he does it again, he could be jailed.

Judge Juan Merchan fined Trump for violating a gag order that bans him from speaking publicly about witnesses and family members of court officials. The judge found he violated the order on nine separate occasions, with each violation resulting in a $1,000 fine.

He said Trump violated the order nine times in recent weeks in posts on Trump's Truth Social platform and campaign website, many of which targeted Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels, key witnesses in the case.

Merchan fined Trump $9,000, or $1,000 for each violation, and ordered him to delete the posts. All nine posts were taken down by Tuesday afternoon.

The judge announced the ruling from the bench and issued an accompanying written order. He wrote that Trump "violated the order by making social media posts about known witnesses pertaining to their participation in this criminal proceeding and by making public statements about jurors in this criminal proceeding".

Merchan wrote that New York law doesn't allow him to impose a fine higher than $1,000 per violation, which "unfortunately will not achieve the desired result in those instances where the [defendant] can easily afford such a fine".

He said a higher fine might be appropriate in those cases, but since he doesn't have that discretion, the court "must therefore consider whether in some instances, jail may be a necessary punishment".

Merchan added that although he was "keenly aware of, and protective of, defendant's First Amendment rights," he would jail Trump "if necessary and appropriate".

He concluded with a warning to Trump: "The court will not tolerate continued willful violations of its lawful orders."

Trump on Tuesday afternoon removed the seven "offending posts" from his Truth Social account and the two "offending posts" from his campaign website, as Merchan ordered. He has until Friday to pay the fine. The judge was also weighing other alleged gag-order violations by Trump and will hear arguments Thursday.

Trump attorneys had argued that gag order was a violation of the former president's First Amendment rights. District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his office alleged Trump violated the order at least 14 times, as of last week. The gag order was imposed last up to the trial last month leading up to the trial.

Trump was accompanied in court by his son Eric Trump, a campaign adviser, Susie Wiles and Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general.

"This gag order is totally unconstitutional," Trump said as court adjourned after a day that included testimony from a Hollywood lawyer who negotiated two of the "hush money''deals at issue in the case. "I'm the Republican candidate for president of the United States and I'm sitting in a courthouse all day long listening to this stuff."

Merchan also announced that he will halt the trial on May 17 to allow Trump to attend his son Barron's high school graduation.

On Tuesday Trump heard details of how the former lawyer for Stormy Daniels, the adult film actor, secured the $130,000 in hush money at the heart of his criminal trial.

Direct examination of the lawyer, Keith Davidson, is expected to continue on Thursday when the trial resumes.

aiheping@chinadailyusa.com

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