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“Threatening a prosecutor is a crime”: Experts say Trump’s Truth Social post could badly backfire
By Igor Derysh,
Former President Donald Trump's fury at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could land him in hot water, legal experts warned on Thursday.
Trump has repeatedly attacked Bragg, who is reportedly nearing a potential indictment in his investigation of the 2016 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, calling him an "animal" and calling for his supporters to "protest" his widely anticipated arrest. The former president early Friday morning warned of "potential death & destruction" if he is charged in the case, and pushed back on calls for his supporters to remain "peaceful."
Amid his relentless all-caps attacks on Bragg, Trump shared an article from the far-right outlet National File that included an image of Trump holding a baseball bat next to an image of Bragg's head.
Norm Eisen, a former Democratic special counsel during Trump's first impeachment, called the post a "sickening threat" and a "call for violence."
"Threatening a prosecutor is a crime in NY. In fact MULTIPLE crimes," he tweeted, listing several statutes that he thinks Trump may have violated.
Former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who served on special counsel Bob Mueller's team, compared the post to a photo longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone posted of a judge overseeing his Mueller probe trial in crosshairs while he was on bail. Weissman tweeted that a judge may need to impose a similar gag order on Trump as the judge did in Stone's case after the post.
"Disgraceful," Weissmann wrote of Trump's post. "And meant to invite and incite violence. As on 1/6 and before."
Former conservative attorney George Conway, a frequent Trump critic, predicted that the post "could get his bail revoked" if he is charged in the Manhattan case.
"He lashes out because he feels he's being attacked. He feels he's being humiliated," Conway said on MSNBC. "But at the same time, he's going to put on a show to basically gin up his followers. That's what the danger is here — is that he will be doing this over a period of several months. A period over the next year and a half. I have to think he's going to get the Republican nomination, and he is going to try to foment violence, as he did on Jan. 6th. He's done a very good job of it this week. But if he keeps pounding on something for months, which he's going to be unless the judges put gag orders on him, you will see people starting to try to do things like they did two years ago, sadly."
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The Manhattan grand jury investigating the hush-money payment had its Wednesday meeting abruptly scrapped and pivoted to a different case on Thursday, meaning a vote on whether to indict Trump will not come until Monday at the earliest.
Karen Friedman Agnifilo, the former Manhattan chief assistant district attorney, suggested that security issues will play a big role in when Bragg might announce a potential indictment.
"For security reasons and law enforcement reasons, you don't want too much time between an indictment and surrender because that information will leak largely from Donald Trump, and he will try to gin up his supporters into violence because that's what he does," she told MSNBC.
"That's what he did Jan. 6, that's what he will do here, that's why he said, 'I'm being arrested Tuesday,' even though he knew he wasn't," she added. "He was trying to get people to protest and put pressure on the DA's office not to indict him. And I think he was also baiting the DA's office, frankly, to tell him when it was going to happen by saying it's going to be Tuesday. So, that's what I think is happening this weekend, and I think for security reasons, they are waiting until a closer time to when he would surrender."
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