BREAKING: Judge Merchan threatens President Trump with arrest if he isn’t in court every single day of trial

"If you do not show up there will be an arrest," Merchan told Trump. 

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

During the first day of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s docs case trial, Judge Juan Merchan said that if Donald Trump did not appear in court each day the trial is in session he would be arrested. 

"If you do not show up there will be an arrest," Merchan told Trump. Jesse Rodriguez, VP of Editorial and Booking, first reported the news from his X account.

Forbes reported that Merchan warned Trump if he skipped the trial without a reason he would be arrested. 

Trump’s attorney told the court that Trump "wants to be present at everything," including side conferences during jury selection, according to ABC News

Merchan said that this would create "logistical issues," such as the presence of Secret Service agents, but said he would do his best to accommodate. 

Merchan directed a series of questions to Trump directly, asking whether he understood that his failure to attend the trial or appear for sentencing could result in penalties. After each question, Trump responded, "Yes," or "I do." 

During the trial's first day on Monday morning, Judge Juan Merchan said that the Access Hollywood tape that resurfaced ahead of the 2016 election could not be played during the trial. 

According to NBC News, Merchan reiterated his previous ruling that the prosecution could not play the tape. "The tape itself should not come in." 

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said Bragg’s office wanted to admit into evidence the transcript of the tape, saying that the tape included admission of sexual assault, but acknowledged that the tape itself could not be shown. The prosecution also sought to include Trump's deposition in the E. Jean Carroll case, but Merchan did not agree. 

Merchan said that allegations of sexual assault raised by the tape should not be brought forward, as "They are very, very prejudicial," according to the Washington Post.  

He said much of the evidence amounts to "just a rumor, just gossip, complete hearsay. Did it happen? There’s nothing to prove that. For me to allow the defendant to be prejudiced based just on a rumor is not fair." 

Steinglass argued that the prosecution should be allowed to mention in general terms the allegations to the jury, to show how Trump reacted. 

Trump “became almost obsessed with addressing these allegations,” Steinglass said. 

This is a breaking story. Refresh for updates. 

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