1/ Judge Juan Merchan threatened Trump with jail and fined him $1,000 for his 10th violation of the gag order in his election interference trial involving falsified business records. Last week, Merchan fined Trump $9,000 for the nine previous violations of the gag order. “It appears that the $1,000 fines are not serving as a deterrent,” Merchan said. “Going forward, this court will have to consider a jail sanction.” Merchan noted that “to take that step would be disruptive to these proceedings” and that he worries about the court officers, Secret Service, and other personnel required to jail Trump, “but at the end of the day, I have a job to do.” (NPR / Axios / CNN / Politico / Wall Street Journal / New York Times)

2/ Prosecutors called two witnesses who worked in accounting in the Trump Organization on the 12th day of Trump’s his election interference trial involving falsified business records. Jeffrey McConney, a former Trump Organization controller, walked the jury through the paper trail that showed how executives organized and paid back Michael Cohen for the money he paid to Stormy Daniels. McConney testified that nine of the 11 payments to reimburse Cohen – covering the hush money payment, a bonus, and additional funds – came from Trump’s personal account, which were recorded as “legal expenses.” Deborah Tarasoff, an accounts payable supervisor, described how checks were paid at the company, testifying that invoices over $10,000 had to be approved by Trump or one of his sons. Tarasoff helped arrange the 12 checks for $35,000, each signed by Trump, that were sent to Cohen in 2017 as reimbursement for the $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. In all, Trump paid $315,000 of the $420,000 from his personal bank account, and the other $105,000 came from a Trump trust account. On Friday, Hope Hicks testified that the “Access Hollywood” tape that came out in October 2016 “was damaging,” calling it “a crisis” for the campaign. Jurors also saw a full transcript of the “Access Hollywood” tape, including Trump’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” comment, which the Trump campaign had tried to dismiss as “locker room talk.” Prosecutors, meanwhile, said they need about more two weeks to finish presenting their case. After leaving the courthouse, Trump complained about the trial’s timeline, calling it “election interference.” (CNN / NBC News / New York Times / Bloomberg / Washington Post / Associated Press)

  • The SEC charged the auditing firm for Trump Media and the auditor’s owner with “massive fraud” and operating a “sham audit mill.” BF Borgers CPA, and its owner Benjamin Borgers, agreed to be permanently suspended from practicing as accountants for “deliberate and systemic failures,” including “fabricating” audit documentation and falsely representing to clients its work would comply with accounting standards. They agreed to pay a combined $14 million in civil penalties. (CNN / CNBC / CBS News / New York Times)

3/ The Israel Defense Forces dropped leaflets in Rafah ordering about 110,000 people sheltering there to “evacuate immediately.” The U.N. Relief and Works Agency that aids Palestinians warned that an Israeli offensive in Rafah “would mean more civilian suffering and deaths” and that the consequences would be “devastating” for the 1.4 million people sheltering there. Biden also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and “reiterated his clear position on Rafah,” which is that the U.S. opposes any major ground offensive in the city unless Israel has a clear plan to protect civilians seeking refuge there. Biden, meanwhile, put a hold on a shipments of U.S.-made ammunitions to Israel. Elsewhere, a top U.N. official said northern Gaza was now in “full-blown famine” that’s “moving its way south.” And, in other news, Israel shut down Al Jazeera’s news operations in the country and seized some of its communication equipment. (New York Times / Bloomberg / CNN / Washington Post / ABC News / NBC News)

4/ Israel’s war cabinet unanimously rejected a Qatari-Egyptian ceasefire proposal that Hamas had agreed to, saying the deal was “far from Israel’s necessary demands.” The proposal, which diverged from the one Israel helped craft with Egypt more than a week ago, included an initial 40-day ceasefire in exchange for the release of between 20 and 33 hostages and the release of Palestinian prisoners. The proposal that Hamas said it agreed to doesn’t use the word “ceasefire” but instead called for “the permanent halt to Israeli military operations and hostilities in Gaza” – a demand that Israel rejected. Israel vowed to continue “its operation in Rafah to exert military pressure on Hamas,” but also said it will also send a delegation of mediators “to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement.” (Bloomberg / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Axios / Associated Press)

5/ Israel Defense Forces carried out air strikes against Hamas in Rafah. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will continue operations in Rafah “so as to advance the release of our hostages” and asserted Israel’s right to fight its “genocidal enemies” in rejection of international pressure to rein in its military campaign in Gaza. The strikes came hours after Hamas said it had accepted the Egyptian-Qatari ceasefire proposal. (The Guardian / NBC News / Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / CNN)