Donald Trump removes social media posts after being held in contempt of court, fined $9,000

Donald Trump speaks at CPAC about his plan for defeating Joe Biden in November.

Donald Trump was held in contempt of court Tuesday and fined $9,000 for repeatedly violating a gag order that barred him from making public statements about witnesses, jurors and some others connected to his New York hush money case. Trump must pay the fine by the close of business on Friday, and the former president has since deleted, as ordered, the offending posts from his Truth Social account and campaign website on Tuesday.

New York Judge Juan M. Merchan found nine violations by Trump, and warned if he continues to violate the gag order he could be jailed. Merchan wrote that Trump “is 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.”

In detailing the violations, Judge Merchan ruled that a Trump post quoting Fox News host Jesse Watters’s claim that liberal activists were lying to infiltrate the jury “constitutes a clear violation” of the gag order. Merchan noted that the words contained within the quotation marks in Trump’s April 17 post misstated what Watters actually said.

The ruling from Merchan came at the start of the second week of testimony, with Manhattan prosecutors alleging that Trump and his associates took part in an illegal scheme to influence the 2016 presidential campaign by burying negative stories.  The former president has pleaded not guilty.

Editorial credit: Jonah Elkowitz /