United States: the New York prosecutor’s office requested a punishment for Trump for violating the “gag order” | In the case of bribes to porn actress Stormy Daniels

United States: the New York prosecutor’s office requested a punishment for Trump for violating the “gag order” | In the case of bribes to porn actress Stormy Daniels
United States: the New York prosecutor’s office requested a punishment for Trump for violating the “gag order” | In the case of bribes to porn actress Stormy Daniels

The judge presiding over the criminal trial against donald trump in New York postponed this Tuesday the possible punishment for former US president for allegedly violating the “gag order”which limits his public comments on several key figures in the case.

The Prosecutor’s Office requested a fine of one thousand dollars for each of the ten publications –disseminated on the Truth Social network and on the Trump campaign website– that he considers violate the order, but Judge Juan Merchán said he would not rule on the matter at that time. Merchán has the possibility of issuing a resolution electronically in the next few hours, in the same court when the process resumes on Thursday, or even later. Trump is prohibited from publicly referring to prosecutors or witnesses – and their families – as well as to the jury, whose identity is protected.

The former president is accused, with 34 charges, of having disguised as legal expenses of the Trump Organization, the family business, the payment of $130,000 to porn actress Stormy Daniels through her former lawyer Michael Cohen Cohen to keep her silent about an alleged sexual relationship in 2006, shortly after after having married his current wife, Melania Trump, and the son they have in common, Barron, was born. The magnate would have done this to protect his campaign for the 2016 presidential elections, which he ultimately won against Democrat Hillary Clinton. This accusation can result in a sentence of up to four years in prison.

The session

During the session, the prosecutor Chris Conroy detailed the date and content of the publications that supposedly violated the court order and argued that they were a real threat to those involved, who feared retaliation for their statements. “The defendant violated this order repeatedly and has not stopped doing so,” he said. Conroy, who also asked that the posts be removed and that the judge remind Trump that if he continues to violate the order, he faces a punishment of up to 30 days in prison.

Trump’s defense attorney, Todd Blanche, responded that his client knows “what the gag order allows and there was no intentional violation on his part.” “He is within his right to respond to attacks of a political nature,” argued Blanche, explaining that the mogul used Truth Social to respond to Cohen on issues related to the electoral campaign and not the trial.

What came next was a tug of war – with Trump dressed in his typical red tie and motionless looking straight ahead – between Blanche and Merchán, who ended up telling the defense lawyer that he was losing all credibility before the court. “Using his name (Michael Cohen) is not prohibited; drawing a connection with the trial, yes,” stressed the judge in charge of the case.whose figure, as well as that of the titular prosecutor, are the only ones that are not legally protected by the “gag order.”

“This is like reading a novel. Even if I repost an article and someone’s name is mentioned, I’m violating the gag order. I think it’s revenge and it’s totally unconstitutional,” the former Republican president later complained in the hallways of the New York court. .

Buy stories

Meanwhile David Peckerformer newspaper editor The National Enquirertestified at the trial, indicating that he favored Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016 after an agreement that, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, was part of a criminal structure to corrupt the elections.

Pecker would have bought the publishing rights to two other Trump extramarital stories – an alleged affair with the model Karen McDougal and a false illegitimate son of the tycoon – to leave them kept in a drawer and thus protect the Republican politician’s candidacy.

This is a strategy known in English as “catch and kill”, which he applied after pay $150,000 to McDougal and $30,000 to the man who claimed to have the exclusive rights to the alleged unrecognized son, revealed the former editor. “I made the decision to buy the stories because of the potential embarrassment it would bring to the campaign and Mr. Trump,” he said.

Shortly before, the former American media magnate had explained that they also harmed political rivals of the former ruler. ““What I was supposed to do was publish positive stories about Mr. Trump and publish negative stories about his opponents,” he said. with a calm attitude Pecker, the first witness to testify in the trial, who was called by the Prosecutor’s Office after finishing the initial arguments.

Prosecutors argued on Monday that this alleged conspiracy, in which Cohen mediated, was hatched with a meeting at Trump Tower in 2015. According to Pecker, Trump was then “the most eligible bachelor and dated the most beautiful women,” for so the former president asked Cohen to schedule a meeting to articulate the plot. “I got a call from Michael Cohen telling me that the boss wanted to see me (…) I thought he would help his campaign, but that I would also benefit,” Pecker added.

The media manager acknowledged that he published tabloid stories to harm the aspirations of Trump’s two conservative rivals: Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Likewise, he said that he used the influence of The National Enquirer to denigrate the image of the then Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton: “I used Hillary as a facilitator of cases in which Bill Clinton was seen as a womanizer,” he said.

The Prosecutor’s Office then proceeded to ask him about specific newspaper headlines about these political profiles, which caused Trump, almost for the first time in the entire session, to change his impassive posture and approach the screen where the headlines were projected.

Pecker also revealed that the former president introduced him in 2016 to his former advisor Steve Bannon – convicted in 2022 for contempt of Congress when his connection with the assault on the Capitol the previous year was being judged – because he considered that they could “work very well together.”

Other open cases

Trump faces more trials in different parts of the country. In Florida, he is accused of improper handling of classified documents, including nuclear secrets, moving them from the White House to his residence in Mar-a-Lago. He also faces charges of obstructing the government’s efforts to recover those files.

In Washington, he faces a federal trial for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election in which he lost against Biden and for having instigated the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The former president is accused of several crimes that could lead to a maximum of 55 years in prison and the trial was scheduled for March 4, but his lawyers managed to stretch the case to the point that it would hardly be held before the November elections.

In Georgia, he also faces charges related to his attempts to overturn the election. However, the judicial process was marked by controversy over the romantic relationship that Fulton County Prosecutor Fani Willis had with Nathan Wade, a subordinate she hired to handle the case against Trump. That sparked a legal controversy that ended with Wade’s resignation and delayed the trial against the president, for which there is still no date, for weeks.

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