Former president ‘could be jailed if he breaches gag order again’

Donald Trump was warned that he could be jailed if he continued to violate a gag order meant to protect witnesses and jurors in his “hush money” case.

Juan Merchan, the New York judge presiding over the case, found the former president in contempt of court and fined him $1,000 for each of the nine breaches.

In his ruling, he warned Mr Trump that the court would not “tolerate continued willful violations of its lawful orders” and that it could “impose an incarceratory punishment” if necessary.

Prosecutors argued last week that Mr Trump had violated his gag order 10 times since the trial began two weeks ago, targeting witnesses including Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and “fixer”.

They also claimed that he cast doubt on the integrity of the proceedings when he quoted a commentator who claimed “liberal activists” were attempting to infiltrate the jury.

Another hearing into four further alleged gag order violations is due to take place on Thursday. Mr Trump has been told to remove the offending posts from his Truth Social platform and campaign website by this afternoon.

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