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Tags: andrew napolitano | donald trump | gag order | tanya chutkan | jail | fine | first amendment

Judge Napolitano to Newsmax: Trump Won't See Jail for Violating Gag Order

By    |   Monday, 30 October 2023 08:00 PM EDT

Former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano told Newsmax on Monday he doesn't believe former President Donald Trump will be thrown in jail if he continues to violate the limited gag order reinstated in his D.C. election case.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan on Sunday reinstated the gag order that prohibits Trump from criticizing Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith or witnesses who might be called to testify about his alleged efforts to subvert the 2020 election results.

"The mechanics [of putting Trump in jail] are so over the top. Without any history, I think she's really going to have to think 15, 20, 30 times before she does it," Napolitano told "Carl Higbie FRONTLINE." "My guess is that she will gradually expand the gag order, which I think is unconstitutional, or she'll start fining him.

"He's a very wealthy guy, but nobody likes to have their money taken away from them by the government without a hearing, without a trial. She's allowed to do that, just impose the fine, and he's got to pay it. My guess is that's where she'll go."

Napolitano said gag orders are put in place to protect the jury and witnesses.

"No jury has been chosen yet," he said. "… He has been critical of two witnesses. One, his former vice president, Mike Pence, the other his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. These are not guys easily intimidated.

"There's no evidence that the government has produced to show that they're going to be afraid to come to the courthouse, so they're going to tailor their testimony to please [Trump] so that he'll stop being critical of them."

Napolitano said Trump's inalienable right to freedom of expression should not be suppressed by a gag order.

"On the other side, you have his human natural, right – never mind he's the former president, never mind the First Amendment – he has a human natural right to say whatever he wants," Napolitano said. "He's up against a judicial mindset – I was the exception; there are few of us that were – which gives judges tremendous tools with which to silence litigants, doesn't always have to be the defendant, when the judges think that what those defendants say outside the courtroom is intended to influence what's going on in the courtroom.

"This argument that I have given you about the First Amendment trumps, no pun intended, the court's ability to silence him. This is not the law. This is not what most judges believe. This is what I think the law should be. Most judges believe that they have the right to silence him."

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Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano told Newsmax on Monday he doesn't believe former President Donald Trump will be thrown in jail if he continues to violate the limited gag order reinstated in his D.C. election case.
andrew napolitano, donald trump, gag order, tanya chutkan, jail, fine, first amendment
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2023-00-30
Monday, 30 October 2023 08:00 PM
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