Corrupt Judge Merchan Fines Trump $9K for Exposing Trial Double-Standard


(Headline USA) Compromised Judge Juan Merchan—whose daughter Loren has reaped some $18 million in profits by peddling the prospect of a conviction for former President Donald Trump—delivered him a $9,000 fine Tuesday for exposing the judicial double-standard on Truth Social, purportedly in defiance of a previously issued gag order.

Donald Trump was held in contempt for repeatedly making public statements about witnesses, jurors and others connected to his New York trial—despite the fact that witnesses, including his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, have been allowed to do so to Trump’s detriment, potentially inflicting political damage or, worse, influencing the outcome of the trial itself.

Merchan further warned that Trump could be jailed if he does it again.

Prosecutors had alleged 10 violations, but Merchan found there were nine. Trump stared down at the table in front of him as the judge read the ruling, frowning slightly.

It was a stinging rebuke of presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s insistence that he was exercising his free-speech rights. The judge’s stunning threat to jail a former president signaled that Trump’s already precarious legal standing could further spiral depending on his behavior during the remainder of the trial.

Trump did not respond to reporters’ shouted inquiries about the fine in the courthouse hallway as court resumed for the afternoon.

Merchan claimed that he was “keenly aware of, and protective of,” Trump’s First Amendment rights, “particularly given his candidacy for the office of President of the United States.”

However, the judge has given little evidence that his own credibility is something to be relied upon given his previous false assurances that he was capable of impartiality. Immediately, the former Biden donor proceeded to enact lopsided decisions against the defense and even launched into a tirade last week, ranting at Trump’s attorneys.

Nonetheless, in his latest order he waxed poetic with platitudes to maintain an air of fairness that belied his actions.

“It is critically important that defendant’s legitimate free speech rights not be curtailed, that he be able to fully campaign for the office which he seeks and that he be able to respond and defend himself against political attacks,” Merchan wrote.

Still, he warned that the court would not tolerate “willful violations of its lawful orders and that if necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, it will impose an incarceratory punishment.”

Trump is used to having constant access to his social media bullhorn to slam opponents and speak his mind. But he does have experience with gag orders, which were also imposed, bizarrely, by Judge Arthur Engoron, in his recent civil trial. Judge Tanya Chutkan also has imposed one on him in the Washington, D.C. trial that is currently on hold.

After Engoron ruled him to have violated those orders, he paid more than $15,000 in fines.

Tuesday’s ruling came at the start of the second week of testimony in the historic case, in which Manhattan prosecutors claimed, without evidence, that Trump and his associates took part in an illegal scheme to influence the 2016 presidential campaign.

That entailed issuing non-disclosure settlements to a doorman with a torrid yarn; former Playboy bunny Karen McDougal, who had accusations of an affair; and to porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleged a sexual encounter with Trump. He has pleaded not guilty and says the stories are all fake.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his team must prove that Trump committed a crime in order to make the ambitious charges stick, although none has yet come to light from the prosecution. They must also explain how Trump and his associate intended to defraud when discreetly listing the payments in private ledgers.

Trump was ordered to pay the gag-order fine by the close of business Friday, and he deleted, as ordered, the offending posts from his Truth Social account and campaign website Tuesday.

The judge was also weighing other alleged gag-order violations by Trump and will hear arguments Thursday.

Of the 10 posts, the one Merchan ruled was not a violation came on April 10, a post referring to Cohen and Daniels as “sleaze bags.” Merchan said Trump’s contention that he was responding to previous posts by Cohen “is sufficient to give” him pause on whether the post was a violation.

Those found to be violations included a Trump post quoting Fox News host Jesse Watters’s claim that left-wing activists were lying to infiltrate the jury “constitutes a clear violation” of the gag order. Merchan noted that the words contained within the quotation marks in Trump’s April 17 post misstated what Watters actually said.

Merchan cautioned that the gag order “not be used as a sword instead of a shield by potential witnesses” and that if people who are protected by the order, like Cohen, continue to attack Trump “it becomes apparent” they don’t need the gag order’s protection.

Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, has said he will refrain from commenting about Trump until after he testifies at the trial.

On Tuesday, he said in a text message to the Associated Press: “The imposed fine is irrelevant. Judge Merchan’s decision elucidates that this behavior will not be tolerated and that no one is above the law.”

Trump’s attorneys have suggested that he was engaged in an effort to protect his name and his family—not to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

The trial—the first of Trump’s four criminal cases to come before a jury—is expected to last for another month or more. And with every moment Trump is in court, he’s growing increasingly frustrated while the November election moves ever closer.

“This is a case that should have never been brought,” he said.

In a rare show of reasonableness, Merchan did announce that he would halt the trial on May 17 to allow Trump to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press


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