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Trump trial live updates: Trump fined $9K for gag order violations, could be jailed next time
April 30, 2024

Trump trial live updates: Judge fines Trump $9,000 for violating limited gag order


Trump trial live updates: Judge fines Trump $9,000 for violating limited gag order

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(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York City, where he is facing felony charges related to a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. It marks the first time in history that a former U.S. president has been tried on criminal charges.

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Daniels in order to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 presidential election.

Here’s how the news is developing:

Apr 30, 9:49 AM
Judge fines Trump $9,000 for violating limited gag order

Judge Juan Merchan has ruled that Donald Trump repeatedly violated the limited gag order imposed by the court.

The judge found that prosecutors “met their burden” to show several contempt motions.

Trump will be fined $1,000 for each of the nine violations, Merchan said, and will be ordered to pay a total of $9,000.

Apr 30, 9:31 AM
Trump enters courtroom with son Eric

Former President Trump has entered the courtroom with his son Eric Trump.

Eric Trump frequently attended last year’s New York civil fraud trial, but today marks his first time attending his father’s criminal hush money trial.

Trump’s campaign staff and advisers have attended the criminal trial over the last two weeks, but Eric Trump is the only Trump family member to attend the proceedings.

Susie Wiles, Trump’s top campaign adviser who is helping lead his presidential campaign, is also in the courtroom with him, marking the first time she has been spotted in court.

Apr 30, 9:26 AM
Prosecutors have arrived

Prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office have entered the courtroom.

Prosecutors Joshua Steinglass, Becky Mangold, and Matthew Colangelo are seated at counsel table.

Former President Trump and his counsel are on their way in.

Apr 30, 8:15 AM
Michael Cohen’s banker testified Friday about Cohen’s LLCs

On his first day on the stand Friday, banker Gary Farro told jurors that he was assigned to work with Michael Cohen in 2015 after one of Farro’s colleagues left First Republic Bank, and that in October 2016 Cohen frantically attempted to open an account for a new business called Resolution Consultants LLC.

Prosecutors allege that Cohen intended to use that account to transfer $125,000 to National Enquirer parent AMI for the rights to Playboy playmate Karen McDougal’s story about an alleged affair with Trump, but the deal fell through after publisher David Pecker consulted with his attorneys.

“I am not going forward. It is a bad idea, and I want you to rip up the agreement,” Pecker recounted telling Cohen. “He was very, very, angry. Very upset. Screaming, basically, at me.”

Ultimately, Farro said the account for Resolution Consultants LLC was never funded or opened by Cohen; prosecutors allege the account was abandoned along with the deal to reimburse AMI for the McDougal story. Then, said Farro, Cohen sought him out in October 2016 to open a new account for a company called Essential Consultants LLC, which Farro said Cohen described as a real estate consulting company “to collect fees for investment consulting work [Cohen] does for real estate deals.”

According to prosecutors, the day after the account was created, Cohen used it to wire $130,000 to Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence ahead of the 2016 election.

Apr 30, 7:35 AM
Michael Cohen’s banker to return to the stand

After a week of testimony from longtime National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial is scheduled to resume this morning with the direct examination of Gary Farro, the one-time banker for former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Farro, a former managing director at First Republic Bank, began his testimony on Friday by outlining some of the documents used to allegedly create the shell companies formed by Cohen that are related to two hush-money payments at the center of the case.

Prosecutors have called Farro to authenticate records they hope will prove that Trump falsified business records to hide the reimbursement of Cohen’s hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

“Read the documents, the emails, the text messages, the bank statements, the handwritten notes, all of it,” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo asked jurors last week. “It inescapably leads to only one conclusion: Donald Trump is guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.”

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