DA Bragg threatens Trump with jail time for allegedly violating judge's gag order, files contempt motion

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) filed a contempt motion against Donald Trump (R) on Monday, alleging that the former president violated the judge’s gag order, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

Last year, Bragg charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in an alleged attempt to cover up payments made to Stormy Daniels, a porn star, to keep quiet about an affair. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, claims that he made a $130,000 payment to Daniels at Trump’s request. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied the affair allegations.

Acting Justice Juan Merchan previously placed a gag order against Trump that prohibits him from making public statements about anyone involved in the case, including family members.

Trump’s legal team has made multiple attempts to have Merchan recused from the case over alleged “actual conflict” and “unacceptable appearance of impropriety.” Merchan’s daughter “has a direct financial interest in these proceedings by virtue of her ownership stake and leadership role” at a progressive political consulting firm, Trump’s attorneys claimed.

According to Bragg, the former president violated the judge’s gag order by posting several statements on Truth Social, one of which referred to “two sleazebags.” The prosecution claimed the post referred to potential witnesses Daniels and Cohen.

In a Monday court filing, Bragg urged the judge to tell Trump he could face jail time for violating the gag order. He requested that Trump be held in contempt for the recent social media posts.

“This Court should again admonish defendant to comply with his obligations under the order,” Bragg wrote. “And finally, this Court should warn defendant that future violations of the Court’s restrictions on his extrajudicial statements can be punished not only with additional fines, but also with a term of incarceration of up to thirty days.”

“It is absolutely critical that defendant immediately halt any conduct that would violate the April 1 order’s narrow restrictions to protect the integrity of the ongoing trial,” the filing continued. “A finding of criminal contempt, imposition of sanctions, and stark warnings from this Court are the minimum remedies necessary to achieve this indispensable objective.”

“This Court should now hold defendant in criminal contempt for willfully disobeying a lawful mandate,” Bragg’s filing added. “Defendant is not above the law, and he cannot simply disregard judicial orders that upset him.”

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