“Trump Trial: Prosecution Requests $3,000 Fine for Attacking Witnesses”

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Trump Trial: Judge Merchan Mulls Prosecution Request to Fine Trump $3,000 for Attacking Witnesses

On the first day of former President Donald Trump’s first criminal trial, prosecutors requested Judge Juan Merchan to fine Trump $3,000 for three social media posts attacking witnesses who will testify in the hush money case against him. These posts are said to violate a gag order put in place by the judge last month. Merchan has stated that he will hear further arguments on the prosecution’s request on April 24.

Recent Social Media Posts

In these social media posts, Trump targeted his former lawyer Michael Cohen and adult-film star Stormy Daniels, both of whom are expected to testify. He referred to them as “sleazebags.” Prosecutors argue that these posts violated the judge’s gag order, which prohibits Trump from making statements about prospective witnesses. Trump’s lawyers, however, claim that the former president was merely responding to repeated attacks by these witnesses. Judge Merchan responded to this argument by stating, “I don’t recall that there’s an exception if he’s being attacked.”

During a lunch break, Trump posted a video of right-wing ally Laura Loomer verbally attacking Judge Merchan’s wife. This incident further complicates the already tense atmosphere surrounding the trial.

Key Rulings and Trial Schedule

Judge Merchan made several rulings earlier in the day regarding the evidence that prosecutors could present during the trial. They will be allowed to enter a transcript of the infamous Access Hollywood tape into the record, in which Trump boasts about being able to sexually assault women. However, the video itself will not be shown.

Merchan also provided instructions on the trial schedule, stating that court will not be in session most Wednesdays. Additionally, he rejected Trump’s request to be excused from the trial next week so that he could attend arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on his motion claiming presidential immunity in the January 6 election interference case. Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with the judge’s decision, stating, “We’ve got a real problem with this judge.”

Jury Selection Process

Jury selection began on Monday, with potential jurors being asked various questions to determine their suitability for the trial. These questions included inquiries about their news sources, affiliations with groups like QAnon, the Proud Boys, or Antifa, and their views on how Trump is being treated in the case. Out of the 96 potential jurors called, approximately half were dismissed after indicating that they may not be able to reach a fair verdict in the case against Trump.

Jury selection will resume on Tuesday with the aim of identifying 12 jurors and six alternates. Prospective jurors who passed the initial screening will undergo further questioning by defense and prosecution lawyers before being seated on the jury.

The trial against former President Donald Trump is garnering significant attention, and the developments in the courtroom are closely watched by both supporters and critics alike.

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