As a first time defendant in the criminal justice system, Donald Trump appears to believe he can bully, threaten, and intimidate his way into making it all go away. If he had more experience as a criminal defendant, he’d know that nothing works this way, and that such antics will merely result in the judge cracking down on his pretrial privileges.
Trump is now set to give a speech on Tuesday immediately after his arraignment process is complete, according to Maggie Haberman of the New York Times. It’s difficult to underscore how dumb of an idea this is.
During the arraignment hearing, the judge is going to explain to Trump exactly what he is or isn’t allowed to say while awaiting trial. And now we know that Trump plans to immediately force the issue by running his mouth in front of a microphone. This is just going to prompt the judge to turn right around and crack down on him.
What Trump doesn’t get is that the judge can force Trump to come back to court at any time and assign more restrictive pretrial conditions, including a gag order that could keep Trump from being allowed to speak publicly about his criminal case at all. If Trump then violates that gag order, the judge could hit him with travel restrictions, internet restrictions, or house arrest. This judge owns Trump’s ass from now until trial, and Trump seems intent on learning that the hard way.
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