Trump Fined Multiple Violations Of Gag Order; Judge Says Jail Is Likely Next

Former US President Donald Trump Attends Start Of Civil Fraud Trial In New York City

Source: Michael M. Santiago / Getty

Donald J. Trump was finally held in contempt of court today, CBS News reported. The charges are misdemeanors. Judge Juan Merchan cited the one-term former president because he continually–nine times–violated the gag orders that had been issued in March and expanded shortly thereafter to include family members. 

Merchan issued the initial gag order in early March, pre-trial,  following remarks made by Defendant Trump about people assigned to the case or otherwise upholding their civic duty before the defendant’s criminal “hush money” trial even began. In issuing the gag order, Judge Merchan held that The Judge held that Trump “went far beyond defending himself against ‘attacks’ by ‘public figures…[and that his public commentary was] threatening, inflammatory [and] denigrating.” 

The gag order’s expansion was instigated after Trump began attacking family members of those involved with the case. Specifically, Merchan asserted in issuing the late March expansion of the gage order that observers of the case (and members of the potential jury pool)  “…must now…draw the conclusion that if they become involved in these proceedings, even tangentially, they should worry not only for themselves but their loved ones.” He continued, stating that those worries, driven by unhinged commentary by the defendant would,”…undoubtedly interfere with the fair administration of justice and [constituted]  a direct attack on the Rule of Law itself.”

Jail time potentially next for Trump

Trump has been using his Truth Social platform to go after witnesses in the case despite multiple warnings to cease and desist. His flagrant disregard for the order was the catalyst for him being fined $1,000 for each of the nine violations. Merchan noted that $1,000 was the highest amount the law allowed for violating the Court’s order, even if the defendant was a serial offender, as is the case with Trump. Because $1,000 per violation seems an unlikely deterrent for this criminal defendant, Merchan said jail time was potentially the next response to this kind of behavior.

83 percent of Black people applaud the charges against Trump

The Court’s patience in issuing fines for such egregious behavior recalls one of Trump’s more bizarre, baseless and vulgar recent assertions. In February he declared that indictments and biased treatment under the law is akin to the Black experience with the criminal legal system—and therefore, Black people now like him. Yet a month earlier, a USA Today/Suffolk University poll found Black support for Trump consistently at the bottom of the barrel and that 83 percent of Black people applaud the charges against him. Moreover, the comparison itself is easily enough crushed by even the most cursory review of the machinery of punishment in America. Black people experience discrimination at every single stage of the criminal justice system. 

In New York City alone, and where defendant Trump is on trial, Black and Latino people comprise fifty percent of the city’s population, but fully 80 percent of those charged with low-level, non-violent offenses and misdemeanors, like Trump’s contempt charges are.  And in New York alone, Black people are disproportionately impacted by court fees, leading to the loss of homes, the destruction of credit and incarceration, the New York County Lawyers Association found. 

Fordham Law School Dean said, “Really outrageous fines and fees both feed the crisis of mass incarceration and cause their own crises in people’s lives. What seem like small amounts of money, can pose insurmountable obstacles to so many, reinforcing patterns of racism and funding our government on the backs of people who can least afford to pay,” For low-income and poor people, a fine of $1,000—which is subject to additional late fee penalties, is often a completely life-altering punishment.

Unlike with Trump, fines and fees against Black people are often a life-altering punishment

Here, Trump has been fined for committing the same offense within less than a 60-day period. If he were Black, there’s little doubt that he would have been jailed and likely by the second violation. Or if fines and fees were calibrated according to income, he’d have to pay probably more than 100 times the amount he was charged– or go to jail.

Like Black people do.

So, no Mr. Trump. Even with today’s punishment, you know nothing of the experience of Black Americans and the criminal legal system. You’ve been handled with the kind of kid-glove patience that most Black people never get to know.

Take the $9,000 hit and shut up. Or better, say one more word and go to jail. Directly to jail.


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The post Trump Fined Multiple Violations Of Gag Order; Judge Says Jail Is Likely Next appeared first on NewsOne.

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