HomeTop StoriesJudge Merchan already has to make a crucial decision from Trump

Judge Merchan already has to make a crucial decision from Trump

Donald Trump‘s appearance in criminal court has thus far consisted mainly of pre-trial legal discussions before jury selection. Among the issues raised Monday by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office was Trump’s alleged violation of the silence order before jury selection had even begun.

The prosecutor asked Judge Juan Merchan for sanctions of $1,000 each for three social media posts by Trump that were allegedly offensive. Michael Cohen and others; that he would tell Trump to remove the posts in question; and that Trump is reminded that such a post could lead to another prison sentence.

Merchan said he would hear arguments on the topic next Tuesday, April 23.

Of course, Trump was already aware that violating the silence order could lead to jail time. In addition, he was fined several times in his civil fraud case for violating a silence order there. So it doesn’t appear that relatively low fines will do much to deter Trump. And now, whatever comes from these latest alleged violations won’t be resolved until next week at the earliest, with no word that more potential violations will occur in the meantime. So the requested sanctions themselves, even if granted, are relatively weak, and Trump will not be immediately held accountable for them, if ever.

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In any case, this is a crucial decision that Merchan will have to make early in the process, in addition to the more typical legal issues that will arise. How the judge handles the gag order issue could set the tone for the trial moving forward.

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This article was originally published on MSNBC.com

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