Judge Makes Major Admission In Trump Trial

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

In his hush money trial, Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan has once again shown why he is still the former president Donald Trump’s preferred adversary. But he also acknowledged that Trump might be elected president the next year.

Merchan slapped Trump with another gag order violation just hours into Monday’s hearing, declaring that remarks he made about the jury in a recent interview amounted to insults on people who could legitimately fear for their safety as a result. Merchan claimed, citing CNN, that the “Defendant violated the Order by making public statements about the jury and how it was selected.” “By doing this, the defendant raised concerns about the safety of the jurors and their loved ones, as well as the integrity and legitimacy of these proceedings,” the statement reads.

Speaking on “Just the News No Noise,” a show on Real America’s Voice, a conservative news streaming service, President Trump discussed the composition of the jury. You are aware that the judge is moving the trial along erratically. Nothing has ever happened quite like this. The 95% Democratic jury was selected rather quickly. Most people in the area are Democrats. You consider it to be a totally democratic domain. I can tell you that the situation is incredibly unjust,” Trump remarked.In addition to the $9,000 that President Trump has already paid for nine infractions that Judge Merchan determined happened in his posts on Truth Social, the statement will cost him an additional $1,000. Along with the fine on Monday, there was a strong warning that further infractions might result in jail time. The $1,000 fines don’t seem to be having the desired effect. Thus, moving forward, this court will need to take a jail sentence into consideration, Judge Juan Merchan stated, as reported by the AP. “They constitute a direct attack on the rule of law and threaten to interfere with the fair administration of justice,” he concluded, referring to Trump’s ongoing remarks. That cannot go on, in my opinion.

But according to Merchan, putting Trump in jail is the “last thing I want to do.”

“You are the former president of the United States and possibly the next president as well. There are many reasons why incarceration is truly a last resort for me. To take that step would be disruptive to these proceedings,” Merchan said. Jailing Trump could be a gift in disguise for the Republican frontrunner, whose campaign has previously highlighted Judge Merchan’s daughter – a high-level Democratic operative – when framing the trial as a witch hunt perpetrated by political opponents.

On Monday, several witnesses who were close to Trump throughout the 2016 campaign continued to testify. Hope Hicks, who served as Trump’s senior communications aide during the 2016 campaign and the first year of his administration, testified in front of the jury on Friday. Hicks dealt a blow to the claims made by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg that President Trump ought to have declared a six-figure hush money payment to an adult film star as a political campaign expense rather than passing it off as a business expense. Hicks asserts that shielding his family and former First Lady Melania Trump from the criticism was Trump’s top goal.

Days before the election, the Wall Street Journal published an article describing a payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, which included Daniels. Hicks stated that Trump was “apprehensive about his wife’s reaction” to the item, and she asked that a paper not be delivered to his home on that particular day.


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