Trump Responds To Latest Fine In NYC Trial

Former President Donald Trump’s unprecedented criminal trial resumed on Tuesday morning as he faced 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges stemmed from a years-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, involving alleged payments made to silence adult film actress Stormy Daniels about an alleged 2006 extramarital affair with Trump before the 2016 presidential election.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg must convince the jury that not only did Trump falsify the business records related to the hush money payments, but he did so in furtherance of another crime, conspiracy to promote or prevent the election, which is a felony.

During the trial, Judge Juan Merchan ruled on remaining gag order violations and, once again, found the former president guilty of breaking the rule. Merchan had imposed a gag order on Trump before the trial began, prohibiting him from making or directing others to make public statements about witnesses, counsel, or court and DA staff involved in the case.

The judge fined Trump an additional $1,000 for a post he made on his social media platform, Truth Social, about the trial. He also warned that he would consider a jail sentence if Trump violated the gag order again, acknowledging the seriousness of this decision as Trump is not only a former president but also a potential future presidential candidate.

Trump and his defense attorneys argued against the gag order, claiming it violated his First Amendment rights and those of his supporters. The former president has been fined a total of $10,000 for violating the order so far. On Monday, the prosecution called its 10th witness, Jeff McConney, who served as senior vice president controller at the Trump Organization until his retirement last year.

McConney testified that he was directed by then-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg to give ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen $35,000 per month, which they labeled as “legal expenses” on tax returns. However, McConney clarified that Trump did not personally instruct him to make the payments in 2017.

Later, the prosecution called Deborah Tarasoff, a Trump Organization accounts payable supervisor, who allegedly helped arrange the hush money payments to Cohen. Tarasoff labeled the payments as “legal expenses” or “retainer,” and testified that only Trump could sign checks from his personal account. She also stated that she did not have decision-making authority and only followed instructions. Meanwhile, the prosecution requested an additional two to three weeks to present its case against Trump, citing the need for more time. This would further delay the trial and keep Trump off the campaign trail.

After court, Trump addressed Merchan’s threat of jail time over gag order violations, stating that he was willing to make the “sacrifice” of prison to defend his right to free speech. He told reporters that he could not talk about the trial as the judge had imposed a gag order and threatened him with jail time if he violated it.

Trump emphasized the importance of the Constitution and said he would make the sacrifice of a prison sentence to defend his First Amendment rights. The former president believes that this trial is about election interference and his ability to run for president again in 2024.

Overall, the trial against former President Trump remains ongoing, with the prosecution presenting evidence and calling witnesses to support their case. The judge has imposed strict rules, including a gag order, to ensure a fair trial. Trump has been fined multiple times for violating the gag order but maintains that he has a right to speak.

Meanwhile, the prosecution has requested more time to present their case, creating further delays in the trial. As the trial progresses, it remains to be seen how the jury will rule and what impact this could have on Trump’s potential presidential ambitions.


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