Gagging Trump

Judge Merchan appears to be boxed in.  On the one hand, fining Trump $1,000 for violating the gag order is obviously not going to be effective.  On the other hand, sending Trump to jail would make him a martyr to some, and may not even be effective, since Trump would appeal any order sending him to the hoosegow.  What’s a trial judge to do?

Well, one possibility is to ban Trump from Truth Social (or from social media generally).  Sure, Trump could still threaten jurors and witnesses at his rallies, but my sense is that Truth Social is the main way he gets his message out.  (His rallies this spring have been so boring they don’t get much press coverage.  Don’t take my word for it, listen to one yourself.) 

I’m not sure why this doesn’t seem to be on the table.  Maybe it raises first amendment issues, but I assume Trump wouldn’t be posting freely from prison.  If Merchan can put Trump in jail, he should be able to take the lesser step of banning him from Truth Social. 

Or – even better – why not sentence Trump to house arrest at Trump Tower?  This would go a long way to avoiding the martyr problem – there is a limit to how bad anyone will feel for a guy living in an 30,000 11,000 square foot apartment with a golden toilet.  And if he is under house arrest – in lieu of prison – it should be easier to ban him from social media as well.

I’m too lazy to research any of this, but interested if someone has a more informed take.  Maybe a bit of creative thinking can get Merchan out of his box . . .