Trump will be jailed due to his ‘narcissism,’ ex-White House lawyer says
Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb said he thinks former President Trump’s “narcissism” will ultimately land him in jail.
“I don’t think his first or second violation of the gag order will find him sent to jail, but I think ultimately, his narcissism will get the best of him,” Cobb told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday. “And he will violate it until he finds out what the limits of Judge Chutkan’s patience are.”
Cobb, who served as a lawyer for the Trump administration from July 2017 until May 2018, also explained that he believes the court will uphold Judge Tanya Chutkan’s limited gag order in the former president’s federal case related to his alleged efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 election to President Biden.
A three-judge panel Monday weighed Trump’s attempt to halt the gag order imposed in the case. The gag order, which is currently on hold until the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issues its ruling, prevents Trump and his lawyers from using language that would target special counsel Jack Smith and his staff, court staff and witnesses in the case.
Prosecutors pointed to Trump’s social media posts that involve individuals in his case, but Trump maintains that a gag order would violate his free speech rights. If he loses the appeal, he said he would take it to the Supreme Court.
Burnett suggested that if Trump were to violate the gag order, he could spend a night or two in jail. Cobb said “that’s exactly right.”
The panel hearing Trump’s appeal consists of three judges appointed by Democratic presidents: Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard — both appointed by President Obama — and Brad Garcia, appointed by President Biden.
The judges asked skeptical and aggressive questions of attorneys on both sides while they were deciding whether to put back in place the gag order, The Associated Press noted.
“The judges were frustrated with both sides a little today because of the vagaries of, you know, their interpretation of the order and the arguments that they were making,” Cobb said in response. “But in the end … I think this task boils down to using that, you know, scalpel skillfully to demonstrate what target or targeting actually means and … what areas of speech are actually being circumscribed by the need to avoid undermining the integrity of the judicial process.”
“I think that task is well within the capability of these judges and Judge Chutkan,” he added.
The order has had a turbulent trajectory so far. Chutkan imposed the gag order in response to requests from prosecutors who said Trump’s bombardment was “deranged.”
It was temporarily lifted just days after being implemented, giving Trump’s lawyers time to prove why he should not be restricted. However, it was later re-imposed.
The order was again paused by the appeals court as it hears the former president’s challenge.