Trump Says He's Willing to Go to Jail

'I'll give that sacrifice any day,' he says after hush-money trial ends for the day
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2024 7:20 PM CDT
Trump Says He's Willing to Go to Jail
Donald Trump speaks to reporters after exiting court for the day from his hush-money trial in New York, Monday, May 6, 2024.   (Peter Foley/Pool Photo via AP)

After his trial finished for the day on Monday, Donald Trump said he was willing to go to jail over gag order violations. Earlier Monday, Judge Juan Merchan fined Trump $1,000 for another violation of the gag order and warned that while jail time is a "last resort," it is a possibility if Trump continues to violate the order. "Our Constitution is much more important than jail," Trump said, per Politico. "It's not even close. I'll give that sacrifice any day." In other developments:

  • Jurors get first look at records. The New York Times reports that jurors saw the 34 records at the heart of the case for the first time on Monday. Trump is accused of falsifying the records—11 checks to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, 11 invoices from Cohen, and 12 ledger entries—to cover up a $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

  • Former Trump Organization controller testifies. Jeff McConney said on the stand that he was told by former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg that Trump was reimbursing his former lawyer Michael Cohen for $130,000 but he didn't know what the payment was for, NBC News reports. The company's former controller said Cohen received a total of $420,000 in 11 checks to cover the $130,000 plus a bonus and other expenses, the Times reports. He said much of the money came from Trump's personal accounts.
  • Accountant says Trump signed the checks. Former Trump Organization accountant Deborah Tarasoff testified that Trump personally signed the checks to Cohen, some of which were sent to the White House for his signature. She said he used a black Sharpie to sign checks and "if he didn't want to sign it, he wouldn't sign it and send it back." The testimony "chips away at the defense claim Trump was detached from the transactions," the Guardian reports.

  • A key line from a Trump lawyer. Prosecutors say Trump falsified records by listing the payments to Cohen as legal fees, but Trump's defense team argues that the designation was correct. Trump lawyer Emil Bove asked McConney if "payments to lawyers are legal expenses," the Hill reports. The AP reports that there was laughter in the courtroom when McConney responded, "OK. Sure, yes."
  • "I thought they would be finished today." The prosecution has yet to call expected key witnesses including Cohen and Daniels, but Trump told reporters he "thought they would be finished today." Prosecutors said Monday that they needed around two more weeks to make their case, the Hill reports. "The judge is so happy about two or three more weeks because they all want to keep me off the campaign trail," Trump said, per the Guardian. "That's all this is about, election interference."
(More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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