Placing the former president in jail for violating a gag order would only increase his poll numbers, Mark Preston has claimed Donald Trump enters Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, April 19, 2024 © AFP / Spencer Platt

The arrest of former US President Donald Trump for violating his court-imposed gag order would trigger rioting and deal a potentially fatal blow to President Joe Biden’s re-election chances, CNN analyst Mark Preston warned on Friday.

Trump is currently on trial in Manhattan for allegedly misreporting ‘hush-money’ payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Since last month, he has been forbidden from making public statements about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg or the jurors working on the case, and from uttering anything that could interfere with the work of the court.

Nevertheless, the former president has spoken to reporters outside the Manhattan courthouse every day this week, and Bragg’s team claims that he has already violated this gag order at least seven times. In one instance, Trump took to his Truth Social platform on Wednesday to share a quote from Fox News host Jesse Watters, who claimed that “undercover liberal activists” were “lying to the judge in order to get on the Trump jury.”

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However, if the trial judge were to place Trump in a holding cell “for a few hours,” the end result would be “civil unrest across the country, certainly in some cities,” Preston said in a panel discussion with CNN host Jim Acosta.

“And two, politically, if I’m the Biden campaign, I don’t want to necessarily see him in jail, because that’s just going to get people more inflamed and more fired up,” he added.

The judge, Jaun Merchan, will hear arguments from the prosecution on Trump’s alleged violations of the gag order on Tuesday.

“People are allowed to speak about me, and I have a gag order, just to show you how much more unfair it is,” Trump said outside the courthouse on Friday. The former president blasted the order as unconstitutional, telling reporters that it “has to come off.”

Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge Biden in November’s presidential election. Despite the ongoing trial in Manhattan and three other criminal cases in the works, he is currently leading the incumbent in most polls by between one and ten points. (RT)