During an appearance on MSNBC, former Watergate attorney Jill Wine-Banks warned Donald Trump he could end up in pre-trial detention if he doesn't tone down his rhetoric about his criminal indictments.
In a segment with host Ayman Mohyeldin on the former president's attacks on prosecutors, including Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and special counsel Jack Smith, Wine-Banks suggested sanctioning Trump financially would be ineffective since he would just pay the fines with his supporter's donations.
As the expert explained, Trump is putting the judges in a tough spot if they decide to jail the former president, but that he may leave them no choice.
According to Wine-Banks, Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing Trump's Washington D.C. federal trial, is "up to the task" of handling the former president's attacks.
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"I think that she can handle it, but she is in a very difficult position because putting him in custody has to be a last resort," she explained. "He may push her to that, but he will see it as a political advantage, and so she has to be careful not to give him that advantage. But there is a limit to what she can do to enforce his compliance with what her reasonable requirements for his release are."
"She can penalize him with a monetary fine but his supporters are paying his legal bills already so it doesn't hurt him and he doesn't care about them and their money," she added. "And so I don't know how much benefit in terms of his compliance it would be to fine him if he doesn't obey the fine. She said she would move to trial date up but she can only move it up so far without denying him due process and the adequate time to prepare, and he knows that and she knows that."
"So there's a very limited amount of things that she can do other than incarceration, and I think that that may have to be if he -- you know [political consultant] Stuart Stevens is right: he can't control himself," she elaborated. "And so if he goes way beyond the bounds and is clear in his threats and provoking his supporters to create violence in response to these threats, I think that he will have to be shut up by being incarcerated, and we have an example of Eugene Debs who ran for president from jail and so it is possible that he can continue his campaign from jail."
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