Former US President Donald Trump awaits the start of proceedings at Manhattan criminal court in New York [Eduardo Munoz/The Associated Press]

Trump held in contempt of court in New York trial for gag order violations

Judge in hush money trial says Trump violated the order nine times and warns future violations could result in jail time.

The judge in Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial has held the former United States president in contempt of court for repeatedly violating a gag order.

The order prohibited Trump from speaking publicly and posting on social media about individuals involved in the trial.

Judge Juan Merchan on Tuesday said Trump had violated the order nine times. He fined Trump $1,000 for each violation for a total fine of $9,000.

Prosecutors had detailed 14 possible violations to the court, and Merchan could make more determinations at a hearing on Thursday.

The judge also ordered Trump to remove seven “offending posts” from his Truth Social account and two from a campaign website by Tuesday afternoon.

He added that Trump was “hereby warned that the court will not tolerate continued willful violations of its lawful orders and that if necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, it will impose an incarceratory punishment”.

The decision came as Trump’s criminal trial entered its third week with witness testimony continuing on Tuesday.

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