'I have never heard that': Legal experts react to judge ordering Trump 'not to not commit any crimes'
Donald Trump was arraigned in a Washington, D.C. federal court Thursday for his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and as a condition of his release U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya admonished the ex-president to not commit a crime and to not attempt to influence a juror, warning he could be sent to jail.
“The judge said the most important condition of release is not committing any new crimes while on release, which could lead to him being detained and could add to the sentence he may eventually face,” NPR reports. “She told Trump it is a crime to ‘influence a juror or try to threaten or bribe a witness or retaliate against anyone’ connected to the case. Trump said he understands.”
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow added that Trump was told directly by Judge Upadhyaya, “You’ve heard your conditions of release. It is important you comply to your conditions of release. You may be held pending trial in this case, if you violate conditions of release.”
Experts expressed surprise at the specific direction Judge Upadhyaya made.
“Trump admonished not to commit any crimes as a term of his release. This guy obstructs justice like most of us breathe. And, as the judge observed, it’s also a crime to influence a juror. Same’s true re: a witness. Could be a wild ride,” wrote foreign policy, national security and political affairs expert David Rothkopf.
MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann, the former FBI General Counsel who served at the Dept. of Justice for decades, expressed surprise during live coverage.
“Usually the standard condition that a judge emphasizes, and I thought when I heard it was going to be, she reiterated, ‘the most important thing is,’ I thought it was going to be that you have to show up at each court appearance. That is the most important thing. That is what bail is for is that you will show up in court. When I heard that the standard condition and the most important thing is, ‘do not commit a crime,’ followed up by, ‘do not tamper with a juror,’ my reaction was – I was a prosecutor for 21 years. I was a defense lawyer for five years. I have never heard that.”
Watch Weissmann below or at this link.
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