Prosecutors seek $3,000 fine for Trump’s social media posts about key witnesses in hush money case

(15 Apr 2024)


Washington – 15 April 2024
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Eric Tucker, The Associated Press:
"Donald Trump is in court for the start of his historic hush money trial in New York City. So far, the proceedings have been dominated by pretrial motions and arguments, most notably a request by prosecutors for a $3,000 fine for Trump. They say that fine is necessary because they believe Trump violated an earlier gag order that barred him from attacking witnesses in the case. Within the last week, Trump used his social media platform to attack his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and Stormy Daniels, the porn actor who’s at the center of this hush money case. So far, that request is pending and the judge has not yet acted."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Eric Tucker, The Associated Press:
"Inside the courtroom, Trump received a very standard warning to behave himself in order to remain in the courtroom. That’s a very standard warning that’s given by judges to criminal defendants. It wasn’t precipitated by anything that Trump himself had done."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Eric Tucker, The Associated Press:
"This trial is obviously a singular moment in American history. There’s never been a criminal trial of a former American president. And so Trump, during the day is going to be playing the role of a criminal defendant. And in the evening, he’s going to be campaigning as the presumptive Republican nominee. That’s a pretty extraordinary dynamic. It’s worth noting, though, I’m sorry. It’s worth noting, though, that the practical political consequences are less clear. After all this is a trial that concerns allegations that date back years and that are generally well known to the public. And of the three other cases that are still pending, are all cases that involve significantly more grievous allegations of criminal misconduct. And so it’s really not clear that a conviction is going to really dent or harm his prospects for the White House."
Prosecutors are seeking a $3,000 fine for Former President Donald Trump in his historic hush money trial, alleging that he attacked witnesses through social media posts and violated a judge’s gag order.

Judge Juan Merchan will hold a hearing April 24 to consider the prosecutors’ request.

In a post on his Truth Social platform last week, Trump called his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and the adult film actor Stormy Daniels “two sleaze bags who have, with their lies and misrepresentations, cost our Country dearly!”

Judge Merchan said Trump’s lawyers have until April 19 to file their written response. Trump’s lawyer has said the former president’s comments did not violate the gag order.

The gag order bars Trump from commenting publicly about witnesses, prosecutors, court staff and jurors. Trump is allowed to make critical comments about the judge himself and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Judge Juan Merchan is still considering pretrial matters before potential jurors come in. It’s not uncommon for judges to consider motions before a trial. In this case, Trump’s defense attorneys have pushed for a string of delays.

Trump’s demeanor in the courtroom appears relatively muted compared to some of his previous court hearings when he frequently shook his head and was warned about speaking out of turn.

Earlier, Trump pursed his lips and scanned a row of reporters before following his security detail out of the courtroom during a break in the proceedings.

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Author: admin