Gag orders show Trump being held to account: The former president may be used to getting away with things, but the recent gag orders show some pushback against that- possibly previewing his criminal trials next year.
Trump May Have Finally Found His ‘Kryptonite’
Twice in the last week, former President Donald Trump has been fined for violating a gag order in his federal fraud trial in New York, while Trump also faces a partial gag order in his federal criminal case in Washington.
For someone who has long said whatever he wants without consequences, the consequences are somewhat jarring for the former president. And once his actual criminal trials begin, there may be more where that came from.
Judge Arthur Engoron fined the former president $10,000 on Wednesday, for making comments outside the courtroom that referenced a court employee, something the judge had warned the former president not to do. Trump was even made to testify briefly, making it Trump’s first time testifying in open court in many years.
Trump had been fined $5,000 just a few days earlier.
An analysis published this week by CNN noted that Trump is having to “play by the rules in court,” which isn’t the sort of thing that he’s used to having to do. In the analysis, author Stephen Collinson notes that the judge’s dressing down of the former president represents “a reversal of typical power dynamics with Trump and a reminder that no one is above the law.”
This is a new experience for a man who is known for his ability and willingness to run roughshod over other people, whether it’s political opponents or business adversaries.
“Trump’s status as a defendant means he can’t do and say whatever he wants – a dynamic that won’t just play into the current trial but looks like the start of a pattern as the front-runner for the 2024 GOP nomination faces additional trials next year,” Collins writes.
“Two impeachments and an election loss might not have stopped Trump – partly because he’s so good at stoking public anger, creating alternative realities and blurring the truth – but the fact-based environment of the courtroom might.”
And while the fines aren’t back-breaking financially to someone with Trump’s fortune, they are embarrassing for him and represent a break from how his life typically works. That’s how things go in a judge’s courtroom, especially when the judge has the power to fine, or possibly even send Trump to jail for contempt of court.
“The fines are a drop in the bucket for someone as wealthy as Trump, even if his fortune is not quite as large as he claims, which is an issue at the heart of this case. And these sums are unlikely to make a former president used to say exactly what he wants pipe down,” the analysis says. “But it is a small taste of the consequences that the legal system could impose in several trials – over his business, his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, his hoarding of classified documents and a hush money payment to an adult film star – that will become entangled with his presidential election campaign during the next year. Trump denies wrongdoing in all pending cases.”
It’s all a preview of 2024 when Trump will likely spend the bulk of the year traveling back and forth from the campaign trail to various trials and other legal proceedings.
“Writer Maggot Hagerman of the Failing New York Times wrote almost her entire FAKE story today about the Trump Hating Judge’s Gag Order (They love to silence me!), rather than the Racist Attorney General’s STAR witness chocking like a dog on the Witness Stand (Perry Mason?), and admitting that I NEVER asked him to do anything wrong. He also admitted that he lied to Congress Under Oath, AGAIN, brand new charges,” the post said. “THAT MEANS THEY NO LONGER HAVE A WITNESS, OR A CASE. She also failed to report that the Trump Hating Judge refuses to respect or accept the Appeals Court decision reversing him, a first! Maggot should focus her energies on Corrupt Prosecutors and Judges, whose hatred and bias is so great that they are unable to make a fair and reasonable decision. New York is crime ridden and dying, but I will save it in 2024… It can’t come too fast!”
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade.