Trump’s latest liability: Refusing to remain silent

Source: Politico | May 24, 2023 | Erica Orden

The former president’s habit of publicly denigrating his courtroom adversaries may be catching up with him.

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s next big legal test is whether the famously loud-mouthed former president can keep quiet.

In recent days, he has subjected himself to new legal troubles by repeatedly vilifying the writer E. Jean Carroll even after a jury found that he defamed her. And in his criminal case involving hush money payments to a porn star, Trump is under a judge’s strict order to avoid talking publicly about certain evidence.

If he violates that order, he could be held in contempt.

“He was put on notice that if he engages in his usual behavior, that could result in a violation,” Catherine A. Christian, a former Manhattan prosecutor, said of a Tuesday court appearance in which the judge spoke to Trump by videoconference and admonished him not to breach the disclosure restrictions the judge has imposed in the case.

Trump has long let loose about judges, plaintiffs, prosecutors and other courtroom adversaries, real or perceived. In 2016, Trump said a judge overseeing a fraud case against the now-defunct Trump University was a “hater” and accused him of being unfair to Trump because the judge was “Mexican.” (The judge, Gonzalo Curiel, is an American citizen who was born in Indiana and has Mexican ancestry.)

Trump repeatedly bashed Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated his dealings with Russia, calling him a “never Trumper” who was “conflicted.”

And Trump recently has described three Black prosecutors — New York Attorney General Tish James, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg — as “racist.” James has a pending civil lawsuit against Trump and his company. Willis is investigating Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election results in Georgia. Bragg brought criminal charges against Trump in the hush money case.

Now, Trump’s outbursts may be catching up with him, bringing financial penalties and the potential for other punishments.

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