Former President Donald Trump may be forced to choose between remaining silent about the allegations against him and serving time in jail.
As part of the legal processes against him now that he has been indicted, Trump’s legal team anticipates that he will be issued a gag order by Manhattan-based state Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan.
“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,” a U.K.-based unidentified source stated. 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.
The violation of a gag order is contempt of court, which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine per incident.
The Mail said that a gag order might prevent Trump from delivering a speech at his Florida residence on Tuesday evening, as announced on Sunday.
Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor with the Department of Justice, told Business Insider that a gag order was “not just possible, but quite likely.”
“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 remarked that professional norms already restrict what attorneys in a case may say, but he expects the judge to include both sides’ attorneys in a gag order.
Although Trump’s public utterances about the issue would be “very limited,” others might speak on his behalf.
“This is a criminal case now, so the rules have changed, and the rules are no longer in his purview to make,” Levin added.
“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 stated.
Levin said one slip might not mean punishment, but a pattern most certainly “would likely lead to contempt of court.” CONTINUE READING…