‘Shaking head’: Trump ‘in disbelief’ as lawyer admits he went out of his way to bash witnesses

A lawyer for former President Donald Trump insisted Thursday during a contempt hearing that his client’s comments about jurors and witnesses do not violate a gag order, even as he conceded that the Republican candidate is not just responding to attacks but actively seeking for opportunities to spit out on his process.

Prosecutors accuse Trump of violating the gag order in his Manhattan criminal trial four more times, citing his praise of David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer, as a “nice guy” and his attack on jurors as being ’95 percent Democrats’. quickly plucked from ‘a purely democratic area’. After a hearing last month, Trump also left the courtroom, where he is being tried on charges of falsifying corporate records to cover up hush-hush payments, and approached reporters to share an attack on Michael Cohen, his former fixer. “When are they going to look at all the lies that Cohen said during the last trial,” Trump said.

Judge Juan Merchan, who earlier this week fined the former president $9,000 for previous offenses — and raised the prospect of jail time for future offenses — said Thursday that Trump had gone out of his way to attack a witness.

“It was your client who went to the waiting area, stood in front of the press and started speaking.” Merchan told Trump lawyer Todd Blanche. ‘He went to the press. He didn’t have to go that way.’

“I agree,” Blanche replied, drawing what The New York Times described as a “big laugh in the overflow room.”

Trump didn’t seem to enjoy that particular exchange. After his lawyer agreed with the judge, Trump “scooted around and looked in disbelief at his own lawyer, his mouth hanging open,” ABC News reported. “He then turned around and faced forward, shaking his head no repeatedly.”

The hearing ended without a verdict, but Merchan indicated he was likely to find Trump violating his gag order again, appearing most disturbed by his comments about the jury.

Prosecutors are not yet seeking a prison sentence in an effort to minimize disruption to the ongoing trial. But they are calling for more fines, with Christopher Conroy of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office saying Trump’s comments about witnesses and jurors create an “atmosphere of menace” that is “undermining” to the cause of justice, according to NBC News.