Trial Judge Puts Trump On Blast For Disruptions: No Juror Will Be ‘Intimidated’ Here

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During Donald Trump’s ongoing criminal trial in New York City this Tuesday, presiding Judge Juan Merchan called out evident disruptions from the former president amid an ongoing process of jury selection.

Trump was apparently grumbling as the proceedings went on. One recounting of the judge’s response was provided by legal journalist/analyst Lisa Rubin, who said Merchan told Trump lawyer Todd Blanche that “while the juror was about 12 feet from [Trump], your client was audibly saying something in her direction….I will not have any juror intimidated in this courtroom.”

This very possibility already became a central issue in the case, with Merchan imposing a gag order on Trump that blocks potential attacks by the former president on targets including jurors, both those merely a possibility via their participation in selection processes and individuals actually seated to hear opposing sides’ forthcoming arguments.

Trump has a history of apparent difficulty or unwillingness to control himself at a basic level. Remember the infamous debate before the 2020 presidential election that at times was barely intelligible because of Trump’s incessant interruptions as he squared off with eventual President Joe Biden?

And at recent civil trial proceedings stemming from upheld allegations against Trump by writer E. Jean Carroll, presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan threatened Trump with expulsion after he was evidently grumbling during trial proceedings, again creating the possibility of intimidation or at least serious disruption. That jury trial was comparatively short and didn’t result in the actual imposition of that kind of consequence on Trump, perhaps just because there wasn’t enough time for what might have been the natural escalation of things.

In pre-trial commentary, ex-federal prosecutor and current legal analyst Andrew Weissmann already suggested that Trump could effectively be his own worst enemy here. “The upcoming Trump NY criminal trial may be a repeat of the disastrous second Trump -Carroll defamation trial if/when Trump takes control of the defense, as he can’t help himself at playing lawyer and smarter than everyone, when he’s neither,” said Weissmann.