On Tuesday (April 4), the New York judge presiding over the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) case against former President Donald Trump warned the former President to stay away from social media posts that could incite violence.
Judge Juan Merchant’s caution to Trump came after the former President called for protests ahead of his March indictment suggesting the charges could lead to “potential death [and] destruction.”
During Tuesday’s arraignment, Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, told the court that the former President responded forcefully as he was “upset” and “frustrated” by news of the indictment.
Blanche attempted to get the court to sympathize with Trump, saying, “Imagine anybody in this courtroom” being in Trump’s position.
Blanche added that not all of Trump’s social media posts were threats.
Trump’s attorney went on to criticize Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen for his media appearances.
Cohen, Trump’s former longtime fixer, paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in 2016, days before the 2016 Presidential election.
Cohen’s actions, and Trump reimbursing his former personal attorney, led to the 34 felony counts Trump faced on Tuesday.
However, Merchan told Trump’s legal team that he doesn’t share their opinion regarding the former President’s social media but asked the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to speak to its witnesses.
Assistant District Attorney Chris Conroy responded, saying, “There’s only so much we can do,” adding that they had spoken to Cohen and would continue to do so.
During Tuesday’s arraignment, Trump pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of falsifying corporate records.