Here’s what happened…
According to attorney Joe Gallina, there is a likelihood that Donald Trump could face imprisonment if restrictions on the former president’s speech are reinstated in his election subversion case. Gallina expressed these views during a conversation with Mary Trump, the former president’s niece, which was shared with subscribers to her “The Good in Us” newsletter.
According to Newsweek, the discussion took place following a federal appeals court hearing on Monday, where arguments were presented regarding the gag order on Trump in the federal case accusing him of attempting to overturn the 2020 election. The court did not immediately issue a decision but seemed inclined to reimpose some restrictions on Trump’s speech, as reported by the Associated Press.
In October, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a gag order on Trump, prohibiting him from publicly criticizing prosecutors, court staff, and potential witnesses. Chutkan temporarily lifted the order, allowing Trump’s lawyers to present arguments against speech restrictions. However, she reinstated the order after Trump made comments aimed at influencing his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. The appeals court had lifted the order temporarily during Trump’s appeal.
Gallina conveyed that the appeals court judges hinted at reinstating some form of a gag order during the recent hearing. He suggested that the order might be modified or limited to clearly define the type of speech that crosses the line. Gallina also expressed the possibility of the judges imposing penalties if Trump continues to violate any gag order, stating that jail time is a likely consequence.
Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the case, which was initiated by special counsel Smith. His attacks on Smith and others involved in his criminal cases have been a central element of his campaign to reclaim the presidency in 2024. Prosecutors argue that Trump’s criticisms pose a threat to the case’s integrity and could incite violence among his supporters.
Mary Trump mentioned in the conversation with Gallina that a Texas woman had been charged with making a death threat against Judge Chutkan, following Trump’s social media post in August. In the post, Trump warned, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you.” Mary Trump highlighted the potential consequences of Trump’s disparagement, noting that someone had already been arrested for threatening Judge Chutkan’s life.
The indictment against Trump in Washington is one of four criminal prosecutions he is currently facing. The trial is scheduled for March 4. Additionally, Trump faces charges in federal court in Florida, state charges in New York related to a hush money payment, and charges in Georgia over efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump has pleaded not guilty in all these cases. A limited gag order was recently issued in the civil fraud trial in New York, temporarily lifted last week, barring personal attacks against court personnel after Trump criticized the judge’s principal clerk on social media.