This is crazy!
On Saturday, Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), expressed his belief that former President Donald Trump should be incarcerated due to his repeated attacks on judges and court personnel involved in his ongoing legal battles.
According to Newsweek, Trump, currently the leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, faces various legal challenges at both state and federal levels. New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a $250 million civil lawsuit against Trump, alleging a conspiracy to inflate his net worth through misleading financial statements provided to banks and insurers.
Trump is indicted in four separate cases, with accusations from the Department of Justice’s special counsel Jack Smith, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Georgia. Despite Trump’s denial of any wrongdoing, he has consistently labeled the trials as politically motivated and has frequently attacked judges and court staff on Truth Social, resulting in issued gag orders.
Despite a gag order issued by Judge Arthur Engoron in Trump’s New York civil fraud trial, temporarily lifted by an appellate judge on free speech concerns, Michael Steele condemned Trump’s attacks on court staff during an episode of MSNBC’s Ayman. Steele asserted the danger posed by these attacks and advocated for Trump’s imprisonment to put an end to the behavior.
Steele emphasized the unique leniency given to Trump and the detrimental impact of his actions on the legal system. Judge Tanya Chutkan, overseeing Trump’s federal case related to the alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election results, reimposed a narrow gag order last month. Trump criticized Chutkan on Truth Social, questioning her impartiality and suggesting she recuse herself.
Trump’s reposting of a message calling for a citizen’s arrest of Engoron and James raised concerns about potential violence. Former U.S Attorney Barbara McQuade criticized Trump’s recklessness, warning of the possibility of someone taking violent action in response to his rhetoric. Court system lawyer Lisa Evans reported threats and antisemitic communications directed at Engoron and his staff, attributing the increased hostility to Trump’s comments.
Despite these concerns, a state intermediate appeals court temporarily suspended Engoron’s gag order, citing constitutional and statutory rights. Trump’s lawyer, Christopher Kise, applauded the decision as upholding the president’s First Amendment rights. Judge David Friedman, heading the appeals court, questioned Engoron’s authority to regulate Trump’s statements outside the courtroom.