Legal experts alarmed after Trump pushes “citizen’s arrest”
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday reposted a Truth Social post calling for a “citizen’s arrest” of New York Attorney General Letitia James and Judge Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing his fraud trial. Trump shared a post by a user describing his “fantasy”: “I WOULD LIKE TO SEE LITITIA JAMES AND JUDGE ENGORON PLACED UNDER CITIZENS ARREST FOR BLATANT ELECTION INTERFERENCE AND HARASSMENT.”
Legal experts expressed alarm over the post. “Sometimes he says incendiary things that his followers act on, as in ‘will be wild.’ This is an actual incitement to break the law and it greatly endangers the judge and AG,” tweeted former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman. George Washington University Law Prof. Jonathan Turley, who frequently defends Trump in the media, also warned: “Just in case anyone is taking such a statement as more than a fantasy, there is no basis for a citizen’s arrest and such an effort to physically hold either the judge or the attorney general would most certainly constitute a criminal act.”
New York state Sen. Mike Gianaris, a Democrat who previously pushed to change the law, argued that the statute allowing for a citizen’s arrest should be eliminated. “Citizen’s Arrest is bonkers to begin with, and it shouldn’t be used by aspirational despots to go after perceived enemies. We must get rid of it once and for all,” he wrote.
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