What happens when Trump violates his protective order or pretrial conditions?

“What will happen next WHEN Trump violates the protective order or his pretrial conditions?”
I asked Lisa Graves, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, this question on the Nicole Sandler Show.
She explained the steps the judge can take before putting Trump in jail for contempt.

Partial transcript for readers from the August 11, 2023 episode of the Nicole Sandler Show. Link to the full show

Spocko: We know Trump’s going to violate them. Who files the motion? Where does it come from? How does the judge decide on a show cause hearing? Could you explain that part and then the next step showing the difference pieces that are going to happen to get to the judge issuing a stern warning, or a contempt charge.

Lisa Graves: Contempt is a power that judges hold, it’s their power, they can act without a motion on any act that is in contempt of court. So she doesn’t need a motion from the prosecutor to hold Trump in contempt she can make that determination herself based on his actions. She can also entertain a motion I suppose from the prosecutor to hold them in contempt but that’s not necessary.

She could ask for briefing on that I suppose, but in general–again–that’s not necessarily something that’s even briefed typically.

If a party is in contempt the Court handles that as a matter of her or his role as the adjudicator in that courtroom and can devise any number of appropriate steps to respond to that contempt. There could be a requirement, as I mentioned to Nicole, that he be held in contempt and be sent to jail. She could have that. She could issue that order and sort of delay it to until after the trial, so that he’s not, you know staying overnight in jail between dates of trial. She could issue a fine, impose a fine and then another fine for every single instance, and order that that be paid. She could do both she could issue other consequences for contempt.

You know of course she has to ensure that the trial is fair so that any result can be sustained on appeal, so she can’t just basically rule against him and hold him guilty, find him guilty over a decision of a jury she doesn’t have that power. She has to have the trial continue. I do think it’s possible that his behavior could be disruptive, although he’s been quiet in court. But he could certainly, at some point, be so disruptive to try to cause a mistrial. That could be a tactic that I could see him deploying. And then she’d have to weigh how to deal with his contemptuous activities in court if he were to do so, and what that means in terms of the ability to have the trial continue to its conclusion in order to protect a fair trial.

In short there’s a number of things that a judge has the inherent power to do other than in a criminal trial to rule basically to find the defendant guilty if he’s requested a jury trial, which he has a right to request under the Constitution. And so I am confident, that other than judge Cannon who I have no confidence in whatsoever administering her role fairly, but for the other judges involved, I’m confident that they will protect the Integrity of the Court and act appropriately to hold him in contempt, as you say WHEN he acts with contempt of court. Which he will. He will not get away with it.

August 11, 2023 episode of the Nicole Sandler Show. Link to the full show

She referenced Glenn Kirschner because earlier in the week I had asked Glenn about the process of violation of pretrial conditions. He put out an EXCELLENT explainer video titled “Just 24 hours after being told by judge not to threaten witnesses, Trump appears to violate orderI highly recommend it. It’s 13 minutes long so edited it to 2:20, put in subtitles and posted it on Mastodon. I’m @spocko@Mastodon.online

Trump violates his pretrial conditions. What happens next? Glenn Kirschner on show cause orders. YouTube link

Finally, before you say #LOCKHIMUP, I suggest you read Teri Kanefield‘s excellent comprehensive post on violating a Protective Order. Mastodon: @Teri_Kanefield@law-and-politics.online
Trump’s Criminal Prosecutions, his Social Media Posts, and the Importance of Staying Off Ledges

In that post she shares the penalties and sanctions for violating the conditions of release: imprisonment, a fine or both. If Trump commits a federal felony offense while on release, the punishment is an ADDITIONAL prison term of not more than ten years. For a federal misdemeanor the punishment is an ADDITIONAL prison term of not more than 1 year. To be served consecutive to any sentence you receive.
Fines of $250,000 or $100,000 can be imposed.

I’m posting these three legal experts comments on Trump’s legal situation because I believe it’s important for us to understand how the law can be applied. He maybe losing the legal cases in court but in the “court of public opinion” and his political campaign his message is strong. As an activist and blogger, I look at ways to help us fight the Right Wing in the media and on Social Media.

Trump has a media, social media and political strategy for everything he does. I pointed out the other day I don’t see a coordinated campaign against him in social media. Right now, instead of blocking his messages on Twitter, people are reposting Trump’s exact “Truths” on #X / #Twitter

Marcy Wheeler, @emptywheel@mastodon.social, has explained that doing that turns us into data mules for his messages. She recommends we breaking up his posts from #TruthSocial.
Here is an example of of how I blew up his lame excuse.

The MSM has a really hard time wrapping their head around Trump being compelled, by law, to NOT TALK ABOUT CERTAIN THINGS. In Glenn’s video he explained that the judge can determine if what Trump says is a violation of his pretrial condition. In Lisa’s video she explained what the judge can do following a violation of a protective order. In Teri Kanefield’s article she explains why some posts by Trump are in vague “mob speak” so they might not technically be a legal violation. I look forward seeing the Trump face consequences for his legal violations.

But we also need to help the people who are threatened, harassed and intimidated online and on social media by Trump and his followers. I’ve been writing about threats to health care workers, election officials and activists for years. I’ve also been working behind the scenes on ways to help those people get justice, and compensation, for the damage they have suffered. Next week I’ll do a piece about the huge success by St. Luke’s Hospital in a civil case against Ammon Bundy and his mob for defamation and threatening their staff. And, how to it’s possible to put a political cult leader in jail for contempt. And without bloodshed.

Cross posted on Digbysblog.net

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