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Old 04-17-2024, 08:52 AM
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Question Update: Donald Trump Court Behavior Sparks Scolding From Judge

Donald Trump Court Behavior Sparks Scolding From Judge
By: Newsweek - 4-16-24 - Updated 4-16-24 at 5:57 PM EDT

Note: A video link on site.

Former President Donald Trump's behavior in his criminal hush-money trial on Tuesday elicited a reprimand from New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the case.

Trump on Monday became the first former president in U.S. history to stand trial in a criminal case. Following an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office, Trump was indicted in March 2023 on charges of falsifying business records relating to hush money paid made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels alleges that she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which he has denied.

Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has said the case is politically motivated against him.

According to Newsweek reporter Katherine Fung, who is in the courtroom for the second day of trial as the jury selection continues, Trump was reprimanded by the bench after he was seen gesturing to a potential juror. Merchan said Trump was clearly audible while doing so.

The judge responded by stating that he will not tolerate attempts to intimidate witnesses. Trump attorney Todd Blanche then whispered to the former president.

The social media posts of a prospective juror brought into the courtroom were in question over a video "celebrating" the 2020 election. Trump's legal team had argued that it was "clearly an anti-Trump event."

Merchan agreed that the video warranted the defense's request to bring the possible juror in for questioning. The prosecution disagreed, saying it's someone filming other people celebrating the election results. Trump then appeared to shake his head at the prospective juror.

Newsweek has reached out to Trump's spokesperson via email for comment on Tuesday.

Update following Trump's reprimand, the potential juror confirmed that it was her Facebook post and acknowledged a "bias exists," but said she does not believe it affects her ability to be fair and impartial.

Merchan last month imposed a gag order on Trump, barring him from making public statements about witnesses, including Daniels and Trump's former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, as well as lawyers and staff in the case and their families. The order excluded Merchan and Bragg. It was later expanded to include the families of Merchan and Bragg after Trump made blistering attacks toward the judge's daughter, Loren Merchan.

The prosecution on Monday introduced a motion to sanction Trump for social media posts that they argue violate his gag order, requesting that Trump be fined $1,000 apiece for three potential violations.

Personal note: This is just the beginning /how it ends - will be another story!

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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