Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb anticipates potential legal consequences for former President Trump in light of his violation of a partial gag order related to his federal election interference case. The order, reinstated recently, restricts Trump from making disparaging remarks about court staff and witnesses involved in the case. Earlier this month, Trump incurred a $15,000 fine for breaching a less comprehensive order during his New York civil fraud trial.
Cobb, in an interview with CNN, drew a distinction between the $10,000 fine Trump received in the New York civil case and the potential consequences in Judge Tanya Chutkan’s case. He expressed his belief that Judge Chutkan might impose a more substantial penalty, potentially leading to a brief period of incarceration for Trump.
Judge Tanya Chutkan presides over the case that alleges the former president’s involvement in a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results, with the trial scheduled for March. In support of the partial gag order, Chutkan emphasized the importance of maintaining the orderly administration of justice, even if it necessitates some limitations on the First Amendment rights of participants in criminal proceedings.
Throughout the legal proceedings, Trump has frequently engaged in derogatory rhetoric targeting Judge Chutkan, Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, and potential witnesses, often resorting to insulting nicknames and critical comments. To comply with the gag order, Trump would need to refrain from such behavior.
Cobb, who served during the Trump administration, expressed his opinion that a short period of imprisonment might be required to deter Trump from violating the gag order.
While Trump has vowed to appeal the order, Judge Chutkan confirmed that the order would remain in effect during the appeal process. Trump, in response, criticized the order on Truth Social, arguing that it infringed upon his First Amendment right to free speech, particularly during his presidential campaign, where he claimed to be a leading candidate against both parties in the polls. He pledged to pursue the appeal despite his concerns about campaign restrictions, asserting that the order is untenable.