Trials & Litigation

Trump again found in contempt for violating gag, threatened with jail

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Former President Donald Trump in court

Former President Donald Trump awaits the start of his criminal trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Monday, May 6 2024. (Peter Foley/Pool Photo via AP)

A judge ruled Monday that Donald Trump again violated his gag order in the New York hush money trial, and he warned the former president that he would consider jailing Trump if the violations continue.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan made it clear to Trump that his 10th gag order violation—which he ruled on at the start of Monday’s court session—was going to be the last that would result in only a fine.

“The last thing I want to do is put you in jail,” Merchan said. “You are the former president of the United States and possibly the next president as well.”

The judge noted that jailing Trump would require a monumental effort involving several law enforcement agencies including the Secret Service and New York’s corrections department.

“To take that step would be disruptive to these proceedings,” Merchan added.

The fourth week of the trial is expected to include more witness testimony starting later Monday morning.

Last week, former longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks testified about campaign and White House efforts to keep a lid on scandalous stories about him. Before that, Trump’s defense suggested that he was the target of a shakedown attempt when his lawyer paid hush money to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

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