In a dramatic twist, Judge Juan Merchan presiding over Donald Trump’s high-profile hush money trial issued a stern warning, threatening to subject the former president to sworn testimony regarding his contentious social media posts.

Expressing strong disapproval, Judge Merchan also criticized Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, accusing him of undermining his own credibility with frivolous arguments.

The judge’s rebuke unfolded as he deliberated whether Trump should be held in contempt for breaching a court-imposed gag order prohibiting him from publicly disparaging witnesses and other case participants. Following an extensive two-hour hearing on the matter, Judge Merchan deferred his ruling.

No jail for Trump?

Under the law, the judge retains the authority to impose a jail sentence of up to 30 days should Trump be found guilty of violating the gag order. Trump himself has expressed willingness to face incarceration, deeming it a “great honor.”

However, prosecutor Christopher Conroy clarified that they were not presently pursuing imprisonment, despite Trump’s apparent inclination towards it. Instead, the prosecution sought a $1,000 fine for each offending social media post and demanded Trump’s compliance in removing them.

Amidst heated exchanges, attorney Blanche contended that Trump held the belief that reposting comments made by others did not constitute a violation of the court order. However, Judge Merchan sought clarity on Trump’s stance, pressing Blanche to confirm under oath whether this was indeed the former president’s position.

The judge challenged Blanche, stating, “How do I know that’s his position? Are you testifying under oath that that’s his position? It’s your client’s position that when he reposts, he did not believe he was violating the gag order? I’d like to hear that. Or you just want me to accept it because you’re saying it?”

In the ongoing trial, Trump faces charges of falsifying business records in connection with a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

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Link: Daily Mail

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