Andrew Kelly-Pool/Getty Images)
- During Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, he was warned against inciting violence.
- Prosecutors brought up Trump’s social media posts, saying he “threatening” statements in them.
- Judge Juan Merchan said he would not issue a gag order but expected compliance from Trump.
A New York judge warned former President Donald Trump not to incite violence, following concerns raised by prosecutors accusing Trump of making statements that threatened “our city, our justice system, our courts, and our office.”
During his arraignment in Manhattan on Tuesday, Judge Juan Merchan warned Trump not to “incite violence or civil unrest,” per a copy of the court hearing transcript obtained by Insider.
“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.
He added that while he would not issue a gag order on Trump, the former president should not “engage in words or conduct that jeopardizes the rule of law.”
“This is a request I’m making. I’m not making it an order,” Merchan said.
Merchan’s comments came after prosecutor Chris Conroy mentioned Trump’s social media posts in court after outlining the 34 felony charges against Trump.
Conroy referenced Trump’s Truth Social posts from before the former president’s indictment, one of which predicted there would be “death & destruction” in the event of a Trump indictment.
Conroy also mentioned a Truth Social post where Trump shared an article that included a photo of him wielding a baseball bat next to a photo of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Trump on March 19 also called on his supporters to “protest” and “take our nation back,” echoing his own ominous rhetoric before the deadly January 6 Capitol riots.
“These comments and posts have led to extensive public safety measures being put into place by a number of law enforcement agencies around the city, including here at the courthouse starting several weeks ago,” Conroy said.
Merchan’s warnings appear to have fallen on deaf ears — six hours after the hearing, Trump gave a campaign-style speech at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. During that speech, Trump verbally attacked Merchan and his family, ignoring all the warnings given to him in court the same day.
“This is where we are right now. I have a Trump-hating judge, with a Trump-hating wife and family, whose daughter worked for Kamala Harris and now receives money from the Biden-Harris campaign,” Trump told his supporters on Tuesday evening.
Trump did not provide substantiation for the claims he made about Merchan and the judge’s family.
Representatives for Trump and the New York courts did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.