Prosecutors accuse Trump of ‘willful’ violations of gag order

NEW YORK  -   Prosecutors on Tuesday accused Donald Trump of brazenly violating a gag order imposed by the judge presiding over his “hush money” trial to prevent him from intimidating witnesses. “His attacks on witnesses clearly violate the order,” prosecutor Chris Conroy told Judge Juan Merchan at a hearing called to determine whether the former president should be held in contempt of court.

“He knows about the order, he knows what he’s not allowed to do, and he does it anyway,” Conroy said. “His disobedience of the order is willful, it’s intentional.”

Trump, 77, is charged with falsifying business records to buy the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels over a 2006 sexual encounter that could have impacted his 2016 presidential bid.

Prosecution witnesses are expected to include Daniels and Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, who arranged the alleged payment to the adult film actress. 

Merchan imposed a partial gag order on the Republican presidential candidate earlier in the case ordering him not to publicly attack witnesses, jurors and court staff but Trump has repeatedly lashed out.

On his Truth Social platform, Trump called Cohen and Daniels, for example, “two sleaze bags who have, with their lies and misrepresentations, cost our country dearly.”

The hearing comes a day after the jury heard opening arguments in Trump’s hush money case, with prosecutors placing him at the center of a criminal conspiracy while his defense team insisted he was “cloaked in innocence.”

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt