Many observers remain intensely concerned about the incessantly threatening rhetoric from former President Donald Trump towards various opponents of his in the context of the criminal and civil cases he is facing. That includes the sweeping lawsuit filed against him by New York state Attorney General Letitia James that alleges fraud at the Trump business.
Appearing before the media in a New York City courthouse this Monday, Trump again antagonized James. “You ought to go after this attorney general, because she’s turning off everybody from coming in,” Trump said, seemingly referencing with his remark about “everybody” the general category of individuals and businesses who might want to move into New York.
“Trump’s 1st Amendment freedom of speech includes the right to express his racist views about anyone, including Attorney General Letitia James,” Harvard University Professor Laurence Tribe wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “But he has no right to foment violence against her. He crossed the line into criminal threats when he said “you ought to go after this attorney general.””
Former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, whose time in government service included participation in the Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, said elsewhere that anyone not named Donald Trump who was behaving similarly would be placed under serious restrictions. “This man is out on bail in 4 criminal cases; anyone else would have severe restrictions placed on him for his repeated threats,” Weissmann argued. “See eg Trump acolyte Roger Stone.”
Trump’s angry commentary towards James comes not long after he suggested the execution of retired Gen. Mark Milley in belligerent comments on Truth Social. Trump has accused Milley of treasonous acts, raising complaints about the former top military official’s communications with a Chinese counterpart in the waning months of the Trump administration. Milley was seeking to reassure that country that the U.S. would not be attacking. He’s said his actions — known and coordinated with fellow officials — were deferential to the presidency, not subversive towards it.
Trump’s 1st Amendment freedom of speech includes the right to express his racist views about anyone, including Attorney General Letitia James. But he has no right to foment violence against her. He crossed the line into criminal threats when he said “you ought to go after this… https://t.co/v96a0TkUiL
— Laurence Tribe 🇺🇦 ⚖️ (@tribelaw) October 2, 2023