Trump Posts—Then Quickly Deletes—Post on Bombshell Witness

Donald Trump launched into a new attack on the judge in his New York hush money case on Tuesday morning complaining that he’d just learned who would be testifying later in the day—with reports suggesting that porn star Stormy Daniels is about to take the stand.

Her attorney, Clark Brewster, told the Associated Press that Daniels would “likely” be called as a witness on Tuesday. “I have just recently been told who the witness is today,” Trump wrote in the hastily-deleted post on his Truth Social platform, according to screenshots of the text shared on social media. “This is unprecedented, no time for lawyers to prepare. No Judge has ever run a trial in such a biased and partisan way.”

Trump Plays Chicken With Judge as Hush-Money Trial Continues

The vanishing post comes the day after Judge Juan Merchan once again held the former president in contempt for violating a gag order intended to stop Trump intimidating people closely connected to the case—including witnesses. After noting that $1,000 fines didn’t seem to be stopping Trump from breaching the order, Merchan made it clear that he would jail Trump if the violations continued.

In his Tuesday post, Trump accused Merchan of being “CROOKED & HIGHLY CONFLICTED,” alleging the judge had taken away his “First Amendment Rights.” “Now he’s threatening me with JAIL, & THEY HAVE NO CASE – This according to virtually all Legal Scholars & Experts!” Trump continued. “Why isn’t the Fake News Media reporting this Conflict?”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in the case. The charges stem from reimbursements made to Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment Cohen made ahead of the 2016 election to Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged affair she had with Trump (who denies the affair took place). The prosecution contends that the reimbursements were falsely recorded as legal fees in order to obscure their true purpose.

Prosecutors obtained permission from Merchan to keep the identity of witnesses under wraps until shortly before they are set to testify in order to avoid them being targeted by Trump. On Monday, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told Merchan the defense is being notified about the names of witnesses one day before they’re called to testify, but rejected claims from Trump’s attorneys that the former president is being treated unfairly by not being given a clear schedule.

“They have had the witness list and the exhibit list for a long time,” Steinglass said.

Trump has so far been fined $10,000 for gag order violations—$1,000 for each breach—but New York state law also allows contempt of court to be punished with jail terms of up to 30 days.

Noting that the fines don’t appear to be sufficiently deterring Trump, Merchan on Monday told the GOP presumptive presidential nominee that he would take more severe action if necessary. “Mr. Trump, it’s important to understand that the last thing I want to do is to put you in jail,” the judge said. “You are the former president of the United States and possibly the next president as well.”

Merchan nevertheless said he has a “job to do” and that he would impose a jail sanction “if necessary and appropriate.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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