This Is How Trump Could Land Behind Bars for 30 Days Even Before He Has a Trial
Former President Donald Trump could be hit with a choice of either keeping quiet about the charges against him or spending some time in jail.
Trump’s legal team expects that Trump will be hit with a gag order from state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, sitting in Manhattan, as part of the legal proceedings against him now that he has been indicted.
“The Trump legal team now thinks that the Manhattan judge will take the unprecedented step of silencing the presidential frontrunner with an unconstitutional gag order tomorrow,” an unnamed source said, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
“The Trump legal team is considering adding a First Amendment lawyer to the effort to combat this and will fight it all the way,” the source said.
Violating a gag order amounts to contempt of court, which could land a violator in jail for up to 30 days and/or could result in a $1,000 fine for each occurrence.
The Mail noted that a gag order could derail plans announced Sunday for Trump to make a speech at his Florida home on Tuesday night.
Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor with the Department of Justice, said a gag order was “not only a possibility, but it’s extremely likely,” according to Business Insider.
“Gag orders are very common in criminal cases, particularly in cases where there is an enormous amount of pretrial publicity like this one,” Levin said.
Levin noted that although professional guidelines already limit what lawyers in a case can say, he expects the judge in the case to include lawyers for both sides in a gag order.
Although Trump would be “very limited” in public statements about the case, others could speak for him.
“This is a criminal case now, so the rules have changed, and the rules are no longer in his purview to make,” Levin said.
“He is a criminal defendant and, you know, we see hundreds of thousands of criminal defendants across the country every day who have a lot of rights stripped away from them, and he is now one of them. These proceedings are going to change his life,” Levin said.
Levin said one slip might not mean punishment, but a pattern most certainly “would likely lead to contempt of court.”
Former Indiana Attorney General Jeff Modisett said some type of narrow order is likely.
“I could see where in a case like this based upon statements like that a judge could … issue a gag order,” Modisett said.
“Given Donald Trump’s history in litigation there is likely to be an appeal, but a carefully defined, narrowly restricted gag order would be upheld by the courts on appeal,” he said.
Levin said Merchan is an “absolutely no-nonsense judge” who will “keep a very tight control on the proceedings.”
“Extrajudicial statements by Trump are not going to be looked on kindly by this judge. If the judge finds that he’s crossed a line you’d better believe that this judge is going to do something about it,” he said.
That means there might not be more posts coming, such as the one Trump unleashed Friday on his Truth Social platform.
“The Judge ‘assigned’ to my Witch Hunt Case, a ‘Case’ that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME. His name is Juan Manuel Merchan, was hand picked by Bragg & the Prosecutors, & is the same person who ‘railroaded’ my 75 year old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a ‘plea’ deal (Plead GUILTY, even if you are not, 90 DAYS, fight us in Court, 10 years (life!) in jail. He strong armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn’t ‘plead,”’ VICIOUSLY. APPEALING!” Trump wrote.
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