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Judge Merchan Holds Donald Trump in Criminal Contempt for Gag Order Violations

via NBC News

New York County Judge Juan Merchan held former President Donald Trump in criminal contempt for violating a gag order during his ongoing criminal trial.

The judge ordered Trump to pay a $1,000 fine for each of nine violations and remove certain social media posts.

“The gag order has to come off,” Trump said. “People are allowed to speak about me, and I have a gag order, just to show you how much more unfair it is.”

“They can say anything they want,” he said. “They can continue to make up lies and everything else. They lie. They’re real scum. But you know what, I’m not allowed to speak.”

Merchan warned Trump of potential jail time for further infractions.

The gag order prevents Trump from making public comments about parties involved in the trial, including witnesses, lawyers and their families.

“So why am I gagged about telling the truth?” Trump asked. “I’m only telling the truth. They’re not telling the truth.”

Polls have found most Americans doubt the trial will conclude with a fair outcome and see it as irrelevant to Trump’s potential reelection, while few believe he is being treated the same as other criminal defendants.

The case concerns alleged election interference and a payment made to Michael Cohen.

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