Judge threatens Trump with jail time over gag order violation

October 21, 2023

The judge overseeing former Donald Trump's civil fraud case made headlines this week when he threatened to throw the former president in jail.

However, recent history suggests that if he does, then Trump could well turn the move into a victory. 

Trump hit with $5,000 fine

According to NBC News, Judge Arthur Engoron became "livid" on Friday after it emerged that a post that Trump had deleted from Truth Social continued to be visible on his campaign website.

This was despite the fact that Engoron had previously imposed a gag order prohibiting Trump from making disparaging remarks about court staff.

"Last night I learned the offending post was never removed from a website. This is a blatant violation of the gag order. I made it clear [that] failure to comply will result in serious sanctions," Engoron was quoted as saying.

"Incendiary untruths can and have led to serious physical harm. I will now allow the defendant to explain why this should not end up with serious sanctions or I could possibly imprison him," the judge continued.

Defense lawyer claims honest mistake

Chris Kise serves as one of the former president's defense attorneys, and he told Engoron that the gag order violation was the result of a simple oversight.

"Based on my understanding this was truly inadvertent. The Truth Social post was taken down when the court asked," Kise explained.

"Truth Social was taken down and Trump never made any more comments about court staff, but it appears no one took it down on the campaign website. It is unfortunate and I apologize on behalf of my client," the lawyer added.

Nevertheless, the judge was unmoved, stating, "Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, steeper financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and possibly imprisoning him."

Trump's legal problems appear to have boosted his appeal

Interestingly, Trump's poll numbers in the Republican Party's primary race have gone up each time the former president has experienced legal problems.

That can be seen from a polling aggregator maintained by the website FiveThirtyEight, which shows a spike in Trump's support following each of his four criminal indictments.

What's more, Trump was quick to use his Fulton County mugshot for fundraising purposes. Should he be jailed, the former president would likely attempt to capitalize on it as well.

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