An attorney says that Donald Trump is likely to end up in jail if restrictions are reimposed on the former president’s speech in his election subversion case
Joe Gallina made the remarks in a conversation with Mary Trump, the former president’s niece, that was shared with paid .
They spoke after a federal appeals court on
Monday heard arguments over the gag order on Trump in the federal case charging him with trying to overturn his 2020 election loss. The court did not immediately issue a decision but appeared inclined to reimpose at least some restrictions on Trump’s speech, the Associated Press reported.
In October, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case, imposed the gag order, barring Trump from publicly maligning prosecutors, court staff and potential witnesses in the case.
Chutkan lifted the order days later, giving Trump’s lawyers time to argue why his speech should not be restricted. But Chutkan put the order back in place after Trump made comments that prosecutors said were designed to sway Mark Meadows, his former chief of staff, from giving unfavorable testimony. The appeals court lifted the order as it considered Trump’s appeal.
The appeals court judges indicated during Monday’s hearing that “there will be some sort of gag order reinstated,” Gallina told Mary Trump..
“I think they’re going to go in and change or at least limit the gag order in a way that makes it very abundantly clear what kind of speech throws it over the line,” he said.
He also said it is “absolutely” a possibility that the judges could start imposing penalties if Trump violates any gag order.
“It is true that Donald is a risk, and somebody’s got to hold him accountable,” Gallina said. “And I do think we’ll see fines, but if he keeps doing it, he’s going to end up in jail. There’s no way he can get out of that. I think that’s a very likely possibility.”
Gallina told Newsweek that Trump has “shown repeatedly that he lacks self-control when it comes to his rhetoric. If any of the two gag orders are reinstated with legal weight, it’s only a matter of time before he will violate one or both. He can’t help himself.”
Trump has denied all wrongdoing in the case, which was brought by special counsel Smith. The former president has made vilifying Smith and others involved in criminal cases against him a key aspect of his campaign to reclaim the presidency in 2024.
Prosecutors have said Trump’s attacks threaten to undermine the integrity of the case and risk inciting his supporters to violence.
In her conversation with Gallina, Mary Trump said that a Texas woman was charged with making a death threat against Chutkan a day after Trump said in an August social media post: “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!”
We already know that Donald’s maligning of officers of the court, including clerks and judges and prosecutors, has already stirred up violent intent if not violent action,” she said. “Somebody was arrested for threatening Judge Chutkan’s life.”
The four-count indictment against Trump in Washington is one of four criminal prosecutions Trump is facing. The case is set for trial on March 4.
The former president is also charged by Smith’s team in federal court in Florida with illegally possessing classified documents that he took with him when he left the White House. He is also facing state charges in New York related to a hush money payment to an adult film actress shortly before the 2016 election and in Georgia over efforts to undo the 2020 election results in the state. Trump has pleaded not guilty in all of those cases.
Meanwhile, the judge overseeing Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York issued a limited gag order last month, barring personal attacks against court personnel after Trump maligned the judge’s principal clerk on social media. That order was temporarily lifted last week.
Trump was fined $5,000 for violating that gag order. Gallina told Newsweek, “He was warned about possible imprisonment twice. In the four days after an appeals court temporarily lifted the gag order, he attacked the court clerk five times.”
He added, “Donald Trump does not care whether he puts people’s lives in danger with his attacks.”