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Leading Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer explains Trump Contempt Order

by | May 1, 2024 | Firm News

Leading Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer explains Trump Contempt Order. I have received a number of questions regarding the Ruling by the trial Judge in the on-going Trump New York State criminal trial which held Trump in contempt.

As an initial matter, the Ruling has nothing to do with the jury’s consideration of the charges against Trump in that case. It is a separate proceeding, arising out of that case. In short, the Judge, many months ago, entered a “Gag Order,” after the prosecution filed a motion contending that Trump’s actions, including by way of public statements and social media posts and comments, were intentionally designed to intimidate and harass witnesses and others associated with that case. The trial Judge accordingly entered that “Gag Order,” which limited Trump’s ability to engage in those types of activities.

More recently, the prosecution filed a Motion asking the trial Judge to hold that Trump had violated that Gag Order on multiple occasions, including by way of his own posts and re-posts. The trial court held a hearing on that issue last week. Yesterday, the trial Judge issued his Ruling, holding that Trump willfully (in other words, intentionally) violated the Court’s Gag Order. Accordingly, the Judge fined Trump a total of $9,000 – one thousand for each of his violations.

That financial “penalty” of course means nothing to Trump. However, what is significant about the trial Judge’s criminal contempt finding against Trump is that, in his Ruling, the Judge made it clear that, if Trump engages in future violations, he will consider imposing a penalty that includes incarceration – i.e., time in jail. That line of the Judge’s Ruling certainly got Trump’s attention. This represents really the very first time that any of the Judges in any of the pending Trump cases had actually called Trump’s bluff and taken decisive action in response to Trump’s use of the media and social media to attempt to try his cases outside of the courtroom and in the courtroom of public opinion.

Michael Leonard

Leonard Trial Lawyers

May 1, 2024