Weissman: Anyone but Trump 'would have to await trial in jail' if they violated terms of release
After former President Donald Trump was arraigned in Washington, DC on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the four federal felony charges that United States Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith filed against him for attempting to upend American democracy, Trump agreed to refrain from engaging in behavior that could land him in even more trouble.
Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya "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,” National Public Radio reported. "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."
On Friday, Trump proclaimed on Truth Social that "IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!" Smith requested a protective order quickly thereafter. Trump then targeted ex-Vice President Mike Pence over the weekend, calling him "delusional" and "not a very good person" after Pence tweeted that "anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States."
On Sunday, MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissman discussed what can be done to stop Trump from further violating the terms of his release after Inside host Jen Psaki noted that Trump's pledged compliance was short-lived.
"So, Jen, you know, it's worth noting that on Thursday at the arraignment, Donald Trump under oath swore that he would not retaliate against or threaten any potential witness. And then the next day, that post and others, with respect to Mike Pence were issued. So what can the judge do? Well, the judge can start by bringing the parties in and giving, you know, a sort of stern lecture, 'You know, this is, you have an admonition that you have one more chance,'" said Weissman.
"The other thing that the judge can do — because remember, Donald Trump is out on bail, so he is not free to say anything that anyone else would — is there can be restrictions on what he did and what he can do," Weissman continued. "This did happen with Roger Stone in this very same courthouse when he posted a photo of the district judge with crosshairs over her shoulder, and that led to severe restrictions on what he could post. Just to be clear, any other defendant who did this, who was facing six counts of obstruction of justice — four in dc, two in Florida — I think would be remanded, meaning would be sent to jail and would have to await trial in jail."
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