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Former RNC chair says Trump will violate latest gag order in ‘three, two, one…’

Former RNC chair says Trump will violate latest gag order in ‘three, two, one…’

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Michael Steele on Monday predicted former President Trump will soon violate his extended gag order in his hush money criminal case.

Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing his hush money trial in New York, issued a ruling Monday night to expand the former president’s gag order to include remarks about the family of Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D).

“So Donald Trump will violate this order in three, two, one…” Steele, a political analyst for MSNBC, quipped while guest hosting “Inside with Jen Psaki.”

“How do you see this playing out when that happens? Because you know it will,” Steele asked former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner.

Kirschner predicted financial fines will be levied against the former president should he violate the gag order, but argued it will not be an effective method of preventing Trump’s attacks.

“And of course, who cares, right? There were some minor financial fines put in play by Judge Engoron in the civil case when he violated the gag order,” Kirschner said, in reference to Trump’s civil fraud cause.

Mary McCord, a former acting assistant attorney general, added it was “unusual” that the latest expansion of the gag order did not mention pretrial detainment if he violates the gag order.

“In the two criminal cases they did not actually make [gag orders] part of the conditions of release and require Mr. Trump to sign that he understands his conditions have now been expanded and if he violates them his release can be revoked,” McCord said during the interview.

“The fact that no judge and no prosecutor has stepped up to actually put a stop to Trump’s rhetoric is a real problem,” Kirshner added.

The initial gag order in the case limited Trump’s public remarks about jurors, witnesses and “family members of any counsel or staff member,” but did not include to Merchan or Bragg’s family members.

The order, at the request of Bragg, comes after the former president levied a series of attacks against Merchan’s daughter, Loren, who is a Democratic political consultant. She previously worked as an executive for Authentic Campaigns, a progressive political consulting firm that helped with campaigns for several high-profile Democrats including President Biden – Trump’s main opponent in 2024.

Last week, Trump reacted to an an account on X, formerly Twitter, that appeared to belong to the judge’s daughter and had a photo illustration of an imprisoned Trump as its profile picture. However, the account is no longer associated with Loren, who deleted the account about a year ago, the New York state Office of Court Administration (OCA) later confirmed.

The former president ripped the expanded gag order on Tuesday and repeated his demand for Merchan to recuse himself. Merchan previously rejected the formal recusal request from Trump’s lawyers, who signaled Monday that they would file a new motion for his recusal.

Less than a day after the gag order was expanded, Trump posted a video from Tuesday morning’s “Fox and Friends” segment, in which host Brian Kilmeade criticized prosecutor Matthew Colangelo and Loren Merchan.

Trump was also hit last fall with a gag order in his federal election interference case in Washington, D.C., that bars him from making public remarks that target prosecutors, potential witnesses or court staff involved in the case.

The Hill reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.

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