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Legal expert flags ‘missed detail’ pointing to new ‘criminal contempt’ sanctions for Trump

Donald Trump may soon face additional criminal contempt sanctions, if prosecutors in his hush money case have their way on it.

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin appeared on MSNBC on Friday to discuss recent filings by prosecutors in Trump’s criminal case involving payments to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. While D.A. Alvin Bragg’s team argued that the former president may have already implicitly violated the spirit of the gag order, Trump’s lawyers argued against an “expansion” of the order as written.

But after the live on-air appearance, Rubin realized that she had missed something.

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“Earlier this afternoon, I was on [MSNBC] to explain the newest battle between the Manhattan DA’s office and Team Trump over whether the gag order in the NY hush money case does or should cover Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter,” Rubin wrote later Friday. “But I missed a detail worth flagging.”

She then continued:

“In their letter, the DA argues that after Merchan makes ‘abundantly clear’ that his gag order covers the family members of the Court and the DA themselves, he should also warn Trump to ‘immediately desist’ from future violations of the gag order—and if he doesn’t? Then, the DA’s office argues, he should be sanctioned under NY Judiciary Law Sections 750(A)(3) and 751. Both pertain to *criminal* contempt.”

According to Rubin, “750 defines what counts as criminal contempt and at subsection (A)(3), includes ‘willful disobedience to [a court’s] lawful mandate.’ 751 lists the penalties for such criminal contempt, including imprisonment not exceeding 30 days.”

“What Judge Merchan does next — which could range from entering an expanded gag order to ordering full briefing to simply denying further motion practice — remains to be seen. But the DA’s office? They are not playing,” she added. “FIN.”

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