Trump Pays $9,000 Fine for Gag Order on Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen

( – After being ordered to pay $9,000 in fines by Judge Juan Merchan for violating his gag order, former President Donald Trump paid the fines on May 2.

On April 30, Merchan ruled that Trump violated the gag order nine times by criticizing former adult film star Stormy Daniels and his former lawyer Michael Cohen in seven posts on his social media platform Truth Social and two on his campaign website, holding the former president in criminal contempt. In the posts, Trump described Daniels and Cohen as “sleazebags.” In a separate post, Trump called Cohen a “serial perjurer” who is attempting to help New York prove that Trump committed “an old misdemeanor.”

Trump’s attorneys had argued the posts did not violate the gag order because they were reposts of other people’s words. In his ruling, Merchan noted that while Trump is allowed to respond to political attacks, he cannot criticize witnesses under the gag order. Merchan fined Trump the maximum fine of $1,000 per violation of the gag order.

As ordered by Merchan, Trump removed two “offending posts” from his campaign website and seven “offending posts” from his Truth Social page.

Merchan imposed the gag order before the trial began in April, preventing Trump from publicly commenting about jurors, prosecutors, witnesses, or their families. The judge expanded the gag order to include Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s family and his own family.

According to the New York State Office of Court Administration Communications Director Al Baker, Trump paid the fines using two cashier’s checks, one for $7,000 and one for $2,000.

On May 6, Merchan fined Trump another $1,000 for an additional violation of the gag order during an interview where Trump criticized the jury selection in the case.

Following his rulings, Merchan warned Trump that future violations could result in jail time for the former president. However, he noted that was a “last resort.”

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