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Trump was fined $1,000 for violating a gag order in a hush money case, while a former employee detailed reimbursements

Melania Trump and Donald Trump (Via Ben Smith/Getty Images)

The judge in Donald Trump’s trial over paying to keep things quiet fined him $1,000 on Monday. This was his strongest warning so far. The judge told Trump that if he breaks the rules about keeping quiet again, he could go to jail. This reprimand started a day of important testimony.

Jurors heard for the first time how money moved around in the case. They saw checks with Trump’s signature on them.

Jeffrey McConney, a former controller at Trump’s company, gave technical but crucial details about how the company paid back money that was supposed to keep embarrassing stories out of the news during Trump’s 2016 campaign. Prosecutors in Manhattan say these payments broke the law.

McConney’s testimony was part of the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president, now in its third week.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to media (Via Justin Lambert/Shutterstock)

His story didn’t have the personal details that Trump’s longtime aide Hope Hicks shared on Friday, but it helped prosecutors show how the company may have hidden records of payments to protect Trump’s campaign.

The key point of McConney’s testimony was a $130,000 payment that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen made to Stormy Daniels, a porn actress, in October 2016.

This was to stop her from talking about a past relationship with Trump. Prosecutors accuse Trump of falsifying business records by calling the money paid to Cohen legal fees. They say Trump’s company made it look like they were paying Cohen for legal work, but really they were repaying him and trying to hide it.

 

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