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‘Contempt is punishable’: Trump warned by judge after appearing virtually in court over hush money case

Donald Trump appeared via video link in court to receive a warning by a judge regarding evidence sharing in the criminal hush-money case.

His first court appearance was not in person, but it was the first since his arrest on April 5,. He pleaded guilty to 34 felony charges of falsifying records and ordering alleged payments for hush-money.

Video conferencing was used to connect the former US President, 76, with Manhattan’s Manhattan Court, while Trump’s attorneys and prosecutors attended in person.

The hearing’s sole purpose was to make sure Donald knew about the new rules that prohibit him from using evidence provided by prosecutors against witnesses.


The Judge Juan Merchan addressed Trump first, warning him that if he violated a protective order in the case, he might face sanctions including contempt.

Todd Blanche, Trump’s attorney who sat right next to him in the chair, was asked by Judge Merchan: “Didn’t you explain that this order is also a mandate from the court?”

Mr Blanche responded: “He knows he has to comply with the court order. If he does not, it will be a violation.”

Judge Merchan said that “contempt is punishable.”

“Understood,” replied Mr Blanche.

Image: Trump at court in April

After listing the restrictions in what is known as a “protective order” on 8 May, Mr Merchan decided to take the extra step and personally inform Trump about the restrictions.

Prosecutors requested the order shortly after Trump’s detention, citing his “history of harassing, humiliating, and threatening” statements about people with whom he had been in legal disputes.

In March, Trump warned that he could face death and destruction in the event of an arrest for allegedly making hush money payments to Stormy Daniels.

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She also claimed that she received threats of death by Trump supporters after the allegations were made public.

Image: Stormy Daniels

The order prohibits Trump from posting evidence on social media or disseminating it to third parties. It also requires that sensitive materials shared by prosecutors by prosecutors are kept by Trump’s lawyers.

Mr Merchan made it clear that this order was not meant to be interpreted as a gag. The former president has the right to defend himself publicly, since he has “special” status.

Trump is the only former US President to be charged with criminal offenses in court. He’s also attempting to retake control of the White House by 2024.

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Trump labels sex accuser as a “wack job”

His attorneys are asking that his criminal case be transferred to federal court.

In the 90s, Trump was found guilty of sexually abusing and defaming writer E Jean Carroll.

He was ordered to pay $5m (£4m) damages for the former Elle magazine columnist, Ms Carroll.

A day or so after the New York jury’s verdict, Trump was seen ridiculing Ms Carroll in prime time television. He called her a “wacky job” and claimed the judge was biased.


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