At his most recent arraignment, Donald Trump was clearly warned not to threaten or try to retaliate against anyone connected in any way to the case. This being a story about Donald Trump, you probably know where things are going: He went and did it anyway.
“If You Go After Me, I’m Coming After You,” the disgraced ex-president said in a post on his Twitter clone, Truth Social.
Trump was arraigned in a US Federal Court in Washington, D.C. on Thursday afternoon, where he pled not guilty to criminal charges stemming from the investigation into the Jan. 6 attack and his involvement in the events leading up to it.
Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya, who oversaw Trump’s federal court hearing, warned him to behave himself while he awaits trial.
“It is a crime to try to influence a juror or to threaten or attempt to bribe a witness or any other person who may have information about your case, or to retaliate against anyone for providing information about your case to the prosecution, or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice,” she said.
The judge added a warning that if he violated the conditions of release, “You may be held pending trial in this case.”
She asked him: “Do you understand these warnings and consequences, sir?” Trump responded “yes.”
That Trump would have, let’s say, difficulty complying with the court order was not in doubt. Less clear is whether or not the court will actually enforce its order.
Of course, you probably won’t be surprised to read that this actually isn’t the first potential self-inflicted wound dealt to Trump’s defense in this particular case. That honor, as it happens, goes to Trump’s attorney, John Lauro.
Trump is being prosecuted under laws originally drafted to stop the Ku Klux Klan from using violence and intimidation to stop Black people from voting, and is charged with four counts: Conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction; and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.
And on Thursday night, Lauro appeared on Greg Kelly’s show on the right wing news network Newsmax to discuss the case, where he essentially admitted that Trump really did at least some of what those charges cover.
“He asked Mr. Pence to pause the voting for 10 days, allow the state legislatures to weigh in, and then they could make a determination to audit, or reaudit, or recertify,” Lauro said in part.
Those who have read the indictment know that Trump’s campaign to pressure Mike Pence to illegally delay certification of the vote is a big part of the evidence presented against him. In fact, Pence is mentioned over 100 times.
More relevant to Trump’s latest statement however, is that during that Newsmax appearance, Lauro also included a thinly veiled retaliation threat of his own.
“I fear what’s going to happen in the next election cycle. Perhaps a new administration is gonna come in, and there’s gonna be a lot of talk about identifying Democrats who have obstructed the 2024 cycle,” Lauro said.
In case the subtext of that isn’t clear, Trump has claimed for months that the criminal indictments filed against him are a form of “election interference,” since Trump is a declared candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. By that logic, “Democrats who have obstructed the 2024 cycle” sure does seem to refer to “any other person who may have information about your case.”
We’ll see if the court considered either of these statements to be violations of its orders.
The post Trump Threatens ‘If You Go After Me, I’m Coming After You’ Day After Court Warns Him Not to Issue Threats appeared first on TheWrap.