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Trump fined again, judge threatens jail time

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The judge presiding over the criminal trial in New York has again fined Donald Trump for violating the gag order. But because the fines seem to have little impact, Juan Merchan is now also threatening to lock up the ex-president.

On the twelfth day of the hush money trial, Judge Juan Merchan said that Donald Trump has violated the gag order for the tenth time. The ex-president is not allowed to make public statements about jurors, witnesses and the families of the judge or prosecutors because his statements could endanger those people and influence the trial.

Trump was imposed the first nine fines of $1,000 each for two messages on his campaign website and seven posts on the social medium Truth Social. On Monday, the Republican was fined a tenth for an interview he gave on April 22. In it he criticized the jury members. He claimed that 95 percent of the “quickly picked” jurors are Democrats.


Since the fines do not seem to impress Trump – several thousand dollars are a pittance for the ex-president – Judge Merchan threatens a prison sentence for subsequent violations of the gag order. He said incarceration is “really the last resort” — as the jailing of an ex-president would take a lot of action — but the “continued, deliberate” violations of the gag order constitute an “outright attack on the rule of law.”

“I do not want to impose a prison sentence and I have done everything I can to avoid this. But if it is necessary, I will do it,” Merchan said in court. In addition to a $1,000 fine, violating a gag order in New York can also result in up to 30 days in jail.

The criminal trial in New York revolves around accounting falsifications to cover up hush money for porn actress Stormy Daniels. It is the first criminal trial ever against an American president. Trump is now involved in four lawsuits.

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