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Trump fined $12,300 for violating gag order in New York hush money trial

Trump fined $12,300 for violating gag order in New York hush money trial
Supporters of former president Donald Trump rallying outside the Manhattan Criminal Court on April 30.
PHOTO: Reuters

NEW YORK - The judge overseeing Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial fined the former president US$9,000 (S$12,300) on April 30 for online posts that he found violated a gag order in the case.

Justice Juan Merchan's order came as the trial in New York resumed with testimony from a banker familiar with accounts involved in Trump's alleged scheme to influence the 2016 election by covering up a sex scandal.

The fine was just short of the US$10,000 penalty that prosecutors requested for 10 posts that insulted likely witnesses and questioned the impartiality of the jury.

Judge Merchan will consider whether to impose further fines for other statements at a hearing on May 2.

Judge Merchan also ordered Trump to remove the statements from his Truth Social account and his campaign website.

Trump could potentially face jail time for violating the gag order, which Judge Merchan imposed to prevent him from criticising witnesses and others involved in the case.

The Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election is charged with falsifying business records to conceal a US$130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied having sex with Ms Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

The historic criminal trial is the first of a former president and began on April 22.

Roughly two dozen Trump supporters rallied outside the courthouse on April 30, chanting his name and waving banners that read "Trump 24". A local Republican organisation had called for supporters to turn out after Trump complained that few people were protesting against the trial.


Banker Garry Farro, who is not accused of wrongdoing, testified on April 26 about financial records filed by Trump's onetime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who prosecutors say helped carry out the scheme.

Trump is required to attend the trial and has said he could instead be campaigning ahead of his rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden in the Nov 5 election.

The criminal case is one of four pending against Trump, but could be the only one to go to trial and result in a verdict before the election.

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