Since Trump won’t follow the rules, Judge Chutkan is willing to go beyond the normal sanctions for misbehaving defendants and do the one thing that Trump definitely doesn’t want.
Former federal prosecutor Paul Butler explained on MSNBC:
He doesn’t listen to anybody, including his defense attorneys. Yesterday the judge said she has the power to lock up defendants while they are awaiting trial. One reason she is letting Donald Trump remain free is the promise at the arraignment not to do anything that can be construed as harassing or intimidating witnesses. She’s not going to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. Everyone in that quorum knows that Donald Trump is going to violate — Judge Chutkan actually said yesterday that she sees a potential for a lot of problems, especially in regards to witnesses. People, other than Donald Trump, do not have the benefit of a Secret Service detail.
She can do things like sign him if she violates she can lock him up for contempt of court. The genius move yesterday was to suggest this other sanction. Moving up the trial date. If there is anything that might motivate Donald Trump to follow the rules, it might be that. He needs for his political ambition for this trial to happen as late as possible. He would prefer after the election, Charles. I do not think the judge is going to have that.
Trump is not going to listen. The former president thinks that the rules don’t apply to him. Throwing Trump in jail would only serve to help him accomplish his goal of playing the martyr, so the one thing that Chutkan can do is move up the trial date. Trump is attempting to delay all of the trials until after the 2024 election. The last thing that he wants is a speedy trial, so if Donald Trump is going to intimidate witnesses or violate the conditions of his release, the one thing that Judge Chutkan can do to both punish Trump and protect witnesses is to make sure that Trump’s right to a speedy trial is honored.