Many conservatives believe Trump may have crossed the line this time.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s controversial action might have unintended consequences in his civil fraud trial, as he shared a message advocating for a citizen’s arrest of Judge Arthur Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
According to Newsweek, the ongoing trial originated from a lawsuit initiated by James last year. The lawsuit alleges that Trump and key executives in The Trump Organization engaged in a conspiracy to inflate his net worth by billions of dollars on financial statements submitted to banks and insurers. These actions were purportedly undertaken to facilitate business deals and obtain loans.
As the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Trump appeared in court last week, vehemently denying any wrongdoing and labeling the trial as politically motivated. His testimony followed that of Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., both sons of the former president and senior executives at The Trump Organization.
This Tuesday, Trump utilized his Truth Social platform to address his ongoing trial, not only by expressing his own thoughts but also by reposting content from other users discussing the proceedings.
Among these posts was one from a user named Von Ritter, who advocated for the citizen’s arrest of both James and Engoron as part of a speculative scenario. Trump subsequently shared this post on his own Truth Social account.
“My fantasy, I would like to see Letitia James and Judge Engoron placed under citizens [sic] arrest for blatant election interference and harassment,” Ritter posted.
Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade responded to the former president’s reposted call for a citizen’s arrest by stating to Newsweek that Trump’s action is “incredibly reckless.” She explained that such a move could potentially incite someone to take violent action against James and Engoron after seeing the post.
McQuade pointed out that Trump could face repercussions from Engoron, highlighting the former president’s history of being subjected to gag orders imposed by the judge in the past.
McQuade further noted, “Additionally, Trump risks drawing the ire of Judge Engoron in the New York civil case. While the existing gag order primarily pertains to remarks about court staff, this statement might compel the judge to broaden its coverage.”
A restricted gag order was issued on October 3 during the second day of the trial, prohibiting Trump and other defendants from making public statements about members of Judge Engoron’s staff. This measure was instigated in response to a derogatory post on Trump’s Truth Social account.
Additionally, in early November, Judge Engoron issued another gag order, extending the restrictions to all lawyers involved in the trial. The order prohibited them from making any public statements, both in and out of court, that reference confidential communications between the judge’s staff and himself in any form.