Trump Might Have Violated His Release Requirements, Former Prosecutor Insists

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Donald Trump recently shared a video on social media that included imagery depicting current President Joe Biden bound in an apparent kidnapping situation, spurring ex-federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann to suggest in an MSNBC interview that the developments possibly constituted actionable criminal activity.

Weissmann was specifically contending that the video could have serious consequences for Trump in the realm of restrictions he’s facing ahead of trial in already active criminal proceedings. Some have wondered whether recent rhetoric from Trump, who’s also targeted a daughter of the judge in a New York criminal case, violated a gag order imposed in that case, but as Weissmann explained it, the questions extend from there.

“A standard condition of being out on bail — and this applies in New York, it applies in the D.C. federal case, it applies in the Georgia state case — is that you not commit a crime while you’re out on bail,” Weissmann said, adding: “Threatening the president of the United States is a crime.” The former prosecutor then said that the question now would be determining whether Trump’s conduct in sharing that anti-Biden imagery constituted such a threat as legally defined.

Prosecutors in the New York case are asking the judge to uphold an interpretation of the gag order that would make Trump’s comments about the judge’s daughter covered by it, though the judge’s family is not specifically identified in lists of those protected from a range of attacks. Those who were included after prosecutors asked for such an order range from jurors (both prospective and actual) to witnesses. The judge imposed formal restrictions on distributing identifying details for the jurors beyond specific circles, but Trump and his legal team are set to have access to such info.

Jury selection and trial itself are set to kick off within mere weeks, with the judge recently rejecting allegations from the Trump team that prosecutors perpetrated misconduct in their handling of materials shared amid preparations ahead of trial.