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Court could send Trump to jail before end of process

Court could send Trump to jail before end of process Donald Trump (photo: Getty Images)

A judge in Donald Trump's case regarding payment to actress Stormy Daniels has, for the tenth time, found him guilty of contempt of court for violating a non-disclosure agreement. The judge also warned the former president that further violations could lead to imprisonment, according to Reuters.

Judge Juan Merchan stated that nine fines of a thousand dollars each did not deter Trump from violating the order prohibiting him from publicly discussing jurors and witnesses. His violation is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to 30 days.

“I do not want to impose a jail sanction and have done everything I can to avoid doing so. But I will if necessary," Merchan said at the start of the court hearing.

Imprisonment would be an unprecedented step in the historic case related to the payment for silence to actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

The judge stated that he considers imprisonment truly a last resort, as it could disrupt the court process, create extraordinary security problems, and complicate the 2024 presidential election.

However, he also emphasized that Trump's prolonged and intentional violations of the non-disclosure order are a direct attack on the rule of law.

Last week, Merchan fined Trump $9,000 for nine social media posts, which, in his opinion, violated the non-disclosure order.

Legal cases involving Trump

In April, a trial began in New York against US President Donald Trump on charges of attempting to bribe porn actress Stormy Daniels for non-disclosure of information about their relationship.

He is accused of trying to bribe Daniels for $130,000 in 2014 to prevent her from disclosing their sexual relationship. Trump denies the meeting took place.