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Trump fined $10,000 for violating gag order again in New York

The judge found the former president's testimony "not credible" and made him pay a whopping ten grand for it.

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When Judge Arthur Engoron fined Donald Trump $5,000 for his first gag order violation last week, the judge gave a seemingly stern warning that future violations are subject to far more severe sanctions, including imprisonment.?

On Wednesday, Engoron, who is presiding over Trump's civil fraud trial in New York, found Trump violated his order again.

The price tag? $10,000.

NBC News reported that the judge "handed down the penalty after calling to Trump to testify under oath who he was talking about when he told reporters earlier in the day the person sitting next to the judge was 'very partisan.'" Trump said he was talking about his former fixer Michael Cohen, who had testified against him. But Engoron found Trump “not credible,” NBC News reported.

The judge imposed the limited gag order earlier this month after Trump posted to his social media about the judge’s clerk. That led the judge to?bar the parties?(but really, Trump) from posting or publicly speaking about the judge’s staff. Trump removed the offending post from his social media, but Engoron found he violated the gag order after learning the post was left on Trump's campaign website for several days. The post was only taken down in response to a court inquiry, the judge said.

“This is a blatant violation of the gag order,” Engoron?told Trump’s legal team?in court last week.?“I made it clear [that] failure to comply will result in serious sanctions." In leveling what the judge called the “nominal” $5,000 fine, he cited the civil defendant’s claim of accident and the fact that it was Trump’s first violation.

Courtroom sketch of Trump at the defense table.
Donald Trump at the defense table during the cross-examination of Michael Cohen, as a video of Cohen is displayed on the screen, on Wednesday at New York Supreme Court.Elizabeth Williams / AP

The trial intrigue continued later Wednesday with Trump storming out of the courtroom as Secret Service agents chased after him, NBC News reported. His abrupt departure came after Engoron denied the Trump legal team's request to basically throw out the case. (Trump returned a short time later.)

Wednesday's $10,000 fine in New York comes as U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington has temporarily paused her gag order on Trump as litigation over it continues in the federal election interference case.

At this rate, Trump's next violation in New York could lead the judge to incarcerate him, or maybe just fine him $15,000 if he's adding five grand each time, or $20,000 if he's doubling the violations. Or something entirely different if he's making it up as he goes along.

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