Trump fined ,000 for gag order violation again in ?hush money? case as judge warns of possible jail time

The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s hush money trial has fined him $1,000 for violating his gag order and sternly warned the former president that additional violation could result in jail time.

 

The fine marks the second sanction for Trump for inflammatory comments about witnesses since the start of the trial last month.

 

He was fined $9,000 last week for nine violations.

 

Judge Juan M. Merchan warned Monday, May 6, that additional gag order violations could potentially result in jail time, though he said that was “the last thing I want to do.”

 

The trial enters its third week of testimony Monday with prosecutors building toward their star witness, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and personal fixer who pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the hush money payments.

 

Cohen is expected to undergo a bruising cross-examination from defense attorneys seeking to undermine his credibility with jurors.

 

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with payments made to stifle potentially embarrassing stories.

 

Prosecutors say Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, reimbursed Cohen for payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels and gave Cohen bonuses and extra payments.

 

Prosecutors allege that those transactions were falsely logged in company records as legal expenses.

 

Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied sexual encounters with any of the women, as well as any wrongdoing.

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