Trump May Face Contempt Charges for Gag Order Violations

( – Prosecutors have accused Donald Trump of violating a gag order designed to prevent him from criticizing witnesses, court officials, and their families, and have asked a judge to fine him $10,000. The request comes during a criminal trial in which Trump has been forced to defend himself against accusations that he falsified business records to pay adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to stop her from speaking about an affair she alleges they had over a decade before the payment was made.

Trump’s attorneys have argued that he committed no crime and only paid up in order to protect his reputation. Trump has also argued that the trial is politically motivated and designed to damage his campaign in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election, in which he is expected to stand as the Republican nominee.

Trump, who believes that the gag order is in direct violation of his constitutional right to free speech, has called the court “a kangaroo court” and demanded that the judge, Justice Juan Merchan, recuse himself. He has also called Daniels and her attorney “sleazebags.” His legal team has argued that his public criticisms are, in fact, attempts to defend himself against political attacks, and do not constitute an attempt to intimidate witnesses, an argument for which Merchan says he has yet to see evidence. He rebuked Trump’s legal team in court, saying that he had asked for evidence numerous times and was yet to be given any, and warned them that they were “losing credibility.”

New York prosecutor Christopher Conroy has accused Trump of causing a juror to withdraw from the case after citing privacy concerns and claims that Trump is aware that he has fallen afoul of the gag order but chooses not to obey it. He made it clear that he did not wish to push for a 30-day jail sentence but wanted Trump to be fined instead, implying that Trump seemed to be “angling” for jail time. Judge Merchan has not yet ruled on the matter.

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