Judge Warns Trump: Do Not Incite Violence or Create Civil Unrest


A New York judge this past week issued a stern warning to former President Donald Trump, cautioning him not to incite violence or disrupt civil unrest. On Tuesday, Judge Juan Merchan delivered this stark warning during Trump’s arraignment in Manhattan, following comments from prosecutors accusing Trump of making threatening statements against the city, justice system, courts, and office.

Judge Merchan’s cautioned Trump about his behavior and asked him to refrain from making comments or taking any action that threatens public safety. “Please refrain from making comments or engaging in conduct that has the potential to incite violence, create civil unrest, or jeopardize the safety or well-being of any individuals,” Merchan said during the hearing. The judge also reminded Trump that he didn’t have to issue a gag order, but he should still refrain from words or conduct that challenge the legal system.

Prosecutors mentioned comments made by President Trump on his Truth Social platform, prior to his recent indictment. The posts included photos of Trump with a baseball bat and denounced impending death and destruction should he be indicted. A few days prior to the hearing, President Trump directed his followers to “take our nation back,” echoing his own terms used before the Capitol riots.

Judge Merchan’s warning seemed to fall on deaf ears, however, as hours later President Trump attacked Merchan, his family, and the Biden-Harris campaign while speaking to news reporters. This incident highlights the importance of respecting the law and not stirring public agitation or unrest.

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Alvin Bragg, a chief prosecutor for New York County, was the one who alerted Judge Merchan of President Trump’s provocative social media posts. Bragg has been in the New York District Attorney’s Office since 2018, after earlier stints in the Justice Department, the New York Attorney General’s office, and the New York State Assembly. He is an established State expert on a number of criminal justice topics and has frequently been sought out by the media for comment.