Ex-Trump White House lawyer predicts judge will jail him over gag order breach

A lawyer who formerly represented Donald Trump has made a stunning prediction: his former client may well be jailed over violations of his gag orders.

Ty Cobb, a former White House attorney who defended Mr Trump during the Mueller investigation, told CNN that he believes Mr Trump will continue violating his gag orders in two ongoing trials unless either judge decides to jail him in response — a possibility he sees as likely.

Now a privately-practising attorney, Mr Cobb was a White House counsel from 2017-2018. He defended Mr Trump during the investigation into connections between his 2016 campaign and Russian operatives, a case whose merits he later defended despite Mr Trump deriding it as a “witch hunt”.

Referencing two recent gag order violations which resulted in civil penalties in Mr Trump’s New York civil fraud trial, Mr Cobb theorised on Monday that the judge in Mr Trump’s ongoing January 6 case in Washington DC would impose a more serious penalty.

“I think she’ll come in with a much heavier penalty, and ultimately, I think he’ll spend a night or a weekend in jail,” said the former White House counsel.

“I think it’s gonna take that,” he added. “I think it’ll take that to stop him.”

Donald Trump’s myriad legal problems have grown exponentially worse in the past month.

In Washington DC, a gag order has just been reinstated by Judge Tanya Chutkan, aimed at preventing the former president from targeting court personnel with personal attacks on social media — a prospect that has proved impossible for him thus far in his New York trial.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, three of his former attorneys have now accepted plea deals with the Fulton County district attorney’s office, meaning that they will likely be called to testify against him and his remaining allies as that case progresses. The Georgia case involves a RICO charge, which would mean mandatory prison time if the former president were to be convicted.

In the presidential race, the story is much different. Mr Trump remains atop the crowded GOP primary field, leading his various opponents by a hefty margin while they largely battle for second place. Polling of a hypothetical rematch between him and Joe Biden remains comptetitve as well.

His trial in Washington over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election is set for March 2024, while his Georgia trial date is not yet set.