The judges in multiple Trump trials keep incrementally ramping up the gag orders and pretrial penalties as Trump keeps misbehaving, which is how you’re supposed to do it. In spite of all the angry rants on social media about how Trump is supposedly getting “special treatment,” he’s actually being treated like any other defendant would. Now that he’s right up against multiple gag orders, the question is what happens next.
Former Trump attorney Ty Cobb now says that he thinks Trump is about to get tossed in jail for contempt. This is entirely possible. Until recently Trump had made a point of not violating the various gag orders he was under. But now, as his frustration boils over and he realizes his life is over anyway, he’s begun actively violating his gag orders. And if he reaches the legal threshold where any other defendant would be tossed in jail for contempt, Trump will absolutely be tossed in jail for contempt. These judges have already made clear that they’re going to treat Trump just like any other defendant.
Cobb thinks that locking Trump up is the only way to shut him up. Trump would presumably be initially locked up for a few hours or days in order to drive home the message. And then if he continued to misbehave, he would then be locked up until his trial – which would obviously bring a swift end to his imaginary political ambitions.
But it’s worth pointing out that even while we wait to see if Trump pushes things far enough to get himself locked up, he’s not actually helping himself with these antics in the meantime. He’s not going to bully any of these witnesses into not testifying against him (and he’s going to end up charged with witness tampering). And he’s not going to make it impossible to seat an impartial jury. He’s just digging himself a deeper hole. The only question is how quickly it caves in on him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report