How to deal with such an unstoppable force? Two judges have now gagged Trump’s loud mouth in two of the many court cases he faces. In the New York state civil fraud case, Judge Arthur Engoron barred Trump from making comments about his staff after Trump attacked one of the judge’s clerks in a Truth Social article. Engoron ordered the post removed (Trump complied) and he promised sanctions for future violations. “Consider this statement a gag order,” Engoron said.
Meanwhile, this week in federal court, Judge Tanya Chutkan barred Trump from attacking, intimidating or threatening potential witnesses (like Milley), court officers and prosecutors. Trump remains free to attack his campaign opponent Joe Biden and the Justice Department itself, and he has already pledged to appeal the silence order. If he reoffends, sanctions in the form of fines or prison may follow.
What are the chances that Trump will chew up the gag orders and spit them out? Excellent, if you reread his biography. This is, after all, the man who, when told not to look at the sun during an eclipse, looked at the sun. This is the man who, when his advisors told him not to congratulate re-elected Vladimir Putin, congratulated Putin. This is the man who, after a court ruled he had defamed writer E. Jean Carroll, turned around and defamed her again, demanding another round of damages from her and interests. After being reprimanded for sharing classified information from Russian officials, an Australian businessman and the president of the Philippines, after being caught hacking into classified White House documents, has Trump changed his ways? No. Earlier this month, at a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, while speaking about the U.S. assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Trump volunteered: “They will say “Oh, this is classified information” and then divulged what appear to be operational secrets about Israel’s cooperation, or lack thereof, in the killing.
The damage and potential violence that Trump’s statements can cause among his supporters is considerable. Very real. In August, the day after Trump issued “IF YOU FOLLOW ME, I’LL COME YOU!” » on her Truth Social account, a Texas woman left Chutkan a voicemail in which she said: “If Trump is not elected in 2024, we will come and kill you, so move slowly, bitch. » While the Trump supporter accused of making the threat understood where Trump was coming from, the Trump camp played dumb and said his post on Truth Social was irrelevant to the case.
Assuming that Trump’s lawyers informed him of the shaky legal foundations of the hush orders – the New York Times informs us that the Supreme Court has never ruled definitively on the scope of the silence orders imposed on the accused – we guess that it will probe the soft tissues of the judicial orders, either with its usual bombast, or by cutting the witnesses with a series of escalating taunts. Either judge could fine Trump, but because he is so rich, such justice would result in swatting a swarm of mosquitoes with a free hand. They could put Trump under house arrest or – as fantastic as it sounds – even imprison him in the middle of the presidential campaign if he completely goes on a rampage.
Which he will do. The order not to attack judges, witnesses and prosecutors will have the same effect on Trump’s brain as telling him that it is imperative, for his own well-being, not to look into the fiery sun. The irritable child always disobeys. The irritable child always degenerates. This irritable child will bluff the judges. Will they call his?
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