Sat. May 18th, 2024

Could Donald Trump really go to jail for gag order violations?

By 37ci3 May6,2024



If Donald Trump continues to test the patience of the judge presiding over his money trial, the former president could return to his New York home in Queens, specifically Rikers Island, experts said Monday.

Judge Juan Merchan on Monday It found that Trump had again violated the gag order, which prohibits him from insulting witnesses or jurors. He warned that the ex-president could be arrested “if necessary” for further violations.

Merchan did not say which prison. But when asked what would happen if the judge sent Trump to Rikers, Frank Dwyer, a senior prison spokesman, said, “The department will find suitable housing.”

Trump claimed that he was the victim of a two-tiered justice system that treated others harshly. But the former president’s critics say the opposite is true — that any other criminal defendant who made the kind of public statements Trump made would already be behind bars.

The prospect of Trump being jailed pending trial is sure to draw harsh responses from both his supporters and opponents. Trump has repeatedly tried to raise funds for the possibility of his arrest, suggesting that his campaign finds that recalling images of him as a political prisoner provokes backlash from supporters.

Mike Lawlor, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, said Rikers is the most likely destination if Merchan goes that route.

Lawlor, a former member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, said what March is trying to do is “end the hate” and stop Trump from intimidating witnesses and jurors.

“The whole point is to separate it from social media,” Lawlor said. “Putting him in jail would do that.”

Lawlor said Trump will immediately be placed in a protective prison for his own protection, meaning he will not be allowed to mix with the rest of the prison population.

“He would have no contact with anyone but corrections officers and members of the Secret Service,” Lawlor said. “People at Rikers have a lot of experience working with high-profile inmates, including vulnerable, elderly people like Trump.”

“Obviously, he would be the most high-profile inmate incarcerated at Rikers, but he wouldn’t be the only high-profile inmate at Rikers,” Lawlor said of Trump, 77.

In fact, one of those inmates is Trump’s former CFO Allen Weisselbergwas sentenced to five months in prison last month after pleading guilty to two counts of perjury at Rikers. trump’s civil fraud trial.

In addition, Trump would have to go through the intake process that every inmate goes through, including the indignity of forcing corrections officers to “put him on a scale and then list his actual height and weight on a public website,” Lawlor said.

Lawlor added that Trump’s time behind bars would not be an additional burden on his Secret Service detail.

“The primary job of a Secret Service detail is to protect the former president from harm or theft,” Lawlor said. “Having Trump in prison will make their job easier in some ways.”

“The biggest issue is where the Secret Service is going to be because they are armed,” said Martin F. Horn, a professor emeritus at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who once served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections and Probation.

Trump will likely be taken to the so-called West Facility, which will have enough room for the former president and his security detail and won’t be able to fight other inmates, Horn said.

A spokesman for the agency told NBC News that it would still be an unprecedented task for the Secret Service to secure the former president of the United States behind bars.

The Secret Service itself has no “security services,” the spokesman said.

“Obviously, this is uncharted territory,” Horn said. “No state prison system should have had to deal with this in the past, and no federal prison should have.”

According to other experts, there is another reason why Mercha does not want to arrest Trump.

Being sent to actual prison “may be what Trump wants to appeal to his supporters,” said Dave Aronberg, the state’s attorney for Palm Beach County, Florida, where Trump lives most of the time. MSNBC interview with Jose Diaz-Balart.

Most likely, Merchan could give Trump a “time out” in a cell behind the New York courtroom where he is currently on trial.

Former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin, who participated in the same interview, agreed.

“Maybe an hour in one of these cells is all it takes for Donald Trump to understand the seriousness of his violation of gag orders imposed by a very strict judge,” Zeldin said.

House arrest is also possible, Horn said, but the judge has “wide discretion as to where he can imprison” Trump.

Lawlor said it would be unlikely for Merchan to confine Trump to a gilded cage like his Trump Tower apartment because he can still have access to his electronics and aides, from which he can carry out the judge’s orders.

“So I don’t think he’s going to be confined to his Manhattan apartment,” Lawlor said.





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