Jail Trump: Get It Over With

On Friday, Donald Trump circulated a video featuring a truck tailgate depicting an image of a hog-tied President Joe Biden. On Saturday, Trump stepped up his attack on Loren Merchan — the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over Trump’s New York state criminal trial — by posting on his Truth Social platform a link featuring identification of his target by name with multiple photos.

Predictably, Trump responded to Judge Merchan’s gag order dealing with previous such antics with a fresh spew of disparaging postings about both Merchans.

Nor is this the only gag order or sharp judicial rebuke issued to the former president — who, lest we forget, is out on bail in four criminal trials and appealing a civil fraud judgment running to several hundred million dollars. He’s gone after prosecutors, witnesses, other judges, their law clerks, and, yes — family members.

In Trump’s telling, judges rule against him because they are “haters” and because their spouses or children are out to “Get Trump” and somehow stand to make money from those rulings.

But of course the judges and justices he himself appointed — US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is handling his Florida “documents” case, for example — have only the most commendable motives and reasons each and every time they rule for him.

Trump’s game is to just keep pushing, escalating, daring anyone to stop him. And his violence-primed MAGA cult is listening, chatting, and, if the past is any indication, targeting.

There is, of course, a very straightforward way of dealing with such despicable and dangerous behavior: a contempt citation, a revocation of Trump’s bail, and an accompanying period of detention.

Trump’s vision of a “bloodbath,” however specifically or generally intended, has surely not been lost on his worshipers.

It doesn’t take a seer to tell us: Someone is going to get hurt, badly. Or killed. Too many already find themselves in the crosshairs. If this intensifying Trumpian incitement of violence has any place in our prosecution of justice or our presidential campaigns, then America is on an express train to authoritarian Hell.

If He Were Any Other Criminal Defendant…
There is, of course, a very straightforward way of dealing with such despicable and dangerous behavior: a contempt citation, a revocation of Trump’s bail, and an accompanying period of detention.

It is a measure that, were Trump a common criminal or indeed any other criminal facing the ordinary rules and processes of our law, would long since have been taken. Justice without accountability and some semblance of equal applicability is a sham — a lesson being taught to Americans every day that Trump succeeds in mocking it.

But Trump, a serial skater who has made a career of manipulating every aspect of the justice system and dodging accountability, seems secure in the knowledge that he will not face such a consequence — no matter how far he crosses the line, no matter how many people he and his minions endanger, terrify, and force to seek protection.

He’s confident and cocky because he senses that the whole system is afraid of what would happen if he were jailed and the Wrath of MAGA provoked. They certainly have been primed, and they certainly are well armed. And indeed history tells us that in such circumstances a single spark can lead to great conflagrations, including mass violence and even war.

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