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‘Put Him In The Holding Cell’

A CNN panel on Friday debated the consequences of jailing former President Donald Trump for allegedly violation the gag order against him in his New York criminal trial.

Prosecutors have accused Trump of violating an expanded gag order imposed on the former president April 1 by New York Judge Juan Merchan based on a series of Truth Social posts, with a possible penalty being jail time. One guest on “CNN This Morning” suggested Trump should spend some time in jail, but also warned of potential strife and fallout for President Joe Biden if the judge decides to lock him up.

WATCH:

“I was talking to [former prosecutor] Joey Jackson yesterday and he said, you know, after that Truth Social post where he was quoting Jesse Watters, and he’s sort of insinuating that people are lying their way into the jury, which prosecutors say that that violates a gag order,” host Jim Acosta said. “Joey Jackson was saying, maybe it’s time for the judge to send a message to Trump, put him in the holding cell for a couple of hours, see if that changes his mood. What do you think?”

“Absolutely,” former federal prosecutor Elliot Williams said. “The problem is that it’s not clear how much authority that the judge has to just do that. The judge, at a minimum, has to have a hearing under New York state law. It’s not the judge being weak or feckless or afraid of Donald Trump. The law says that there’s a process that he has to follow. And now the question is, is it civil contempt where you’re trying to compel him to behave better in the future, is it criminal contempt where you’re locking him up for things he’s done in the past, which is much harder and almost, in effect, requires a separate trial.”

A hearing is slated for Monday on whether Trump violated the gag order and if the judge should hold the former president in contempt, according to Axios. Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has requested the judge hold Trump in contempt as well as threaten him with jail time.

“My big question is, why is the judge waiting until the 23rd?” Williams asked. “I guess four days from now, to even have that hearing in the first place. He could he could have done so yesterday or today to really send that message that this is important to the court and this conduct needs to stop.”

Acosta then said that Trump’s mug shot motivated his base to rally for him and asked about the implications of jailing the former president.

“I don’t think we know, but it really does put us between this rock and a hard place, right?” CNN senior political analyst Mark Preston said. “And the rock is like, listen, he has done something that’s wrong and if it was any of us sitting at this table, would we be, you know, held to a higher standard? Would we have to go, you know, into that holding cell? I think that if he does go into this hole, if that were to happen, first of all, I think you would probably see civil unrest across the country, certainly in some cities. That’s one. And two, politically, if I’m the Biden campaign, I don’t want to necessarily see him in jail because that’s just going to get people more inflamed and more fired up. I don’t think that’s necessarily great for the country. Even if we are bending the rules for someone.”

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Jason Cohen

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