judge still threatens Donald Trump with prison for contempt of court in New York

Tried for charges of falsifying accounting documents, Donald Trump has already received ten fines for violating his ban on verbally attacking witnesses and jurors.



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Former President Donald Trump on May 6, 2024 in New York (United States).  (POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA VIA AFP)

The judge at Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York (United States) once again threatened the former American president with prison on Monday, May 6, for violating his ban on verbally attacking witnesses and jurors. At the end of another day of arguments, prosecutors said they expected about two more weeks to hear the rest of the witnesses in this trial. “They want two or three more weeks”the Republican candidate for the November presidential election was indignant, once again denouncing a “electoral interference”. “And the judge is happy to give them three more weeks because they all want to keep me away from the campaign”he added.

At the opening of the hearing in the morning, Judge Juan Merchan sentenced Donald Trump to a fine of $1,000 “for violating his order by making public comments about the jury and how it was selected”, according to his written decision. He also warned him that future offenses would be “liable to incarceration”. At issue, an interview in which the defendant criticized the speed of the jury selection, completed in a week, and its presumed composition, in a very predominantly Democratic city.

Pursued in four separate criminal proceedings, Donald Trump seeks through his multiple appeals to go to trial as late as possible. This trial in New York, of a smaller scale, particularly compared to his indictment by federal justice in Washington for illegal attempts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden, could therefore be the only one tried before the election of November 5.

Already nine fines last week

In this case, for which he risks a conviction and, in theory, up to a prison sentence, he is being prosecuted for 34 falsifications of accounting documents which would have been used to conceal a payment of 130,000 dollars. This sum was used, in the home stretch of the 2016 presidential election, won narrowly against Hillary Clinton, to buy the silence of former porn actress Stormy Daniels over a sexual relationship she claimed to have had with the mogul real estate in 2006.

Last week, Judge Merchan fined Donald Trump $9,000, or $1,000 per offense, for publicly attacking witnesses and jurors on the sidelines of his trial and had already threatened to send him in prison in the event of a repeat offense. The former president targets in particular Michael Cohen, who turned against him and cooperates with the prosecution, and the jurors, whose impartiality he questions.

If he were elected again, he could, once inaugurated in January 2025, order the abandonment of the two federal proceedings against him, in Washington but also in Florida, where he is being prosecuted for his supposedly casual management of classified documents after his departure from the White House.

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