MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace and legal analyst Andrew Weissmann expressed worry about former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric following a judge issuing a gag order against him on Tuesday.

Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing Trump’s New York hush money case, issued the order, which prevents the former president from making statements about witnesses, prosecutors other than the district attorney, court staff, their families and prospective jurors. Wallace and Weissmann discussed the implications of the order on the U.S. presidential election on “Deadline: White House.”

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“I don’t want to go one more minute without saying we should never feel normal,” Wallace said. “Someone who was the country’s president and someone who would like to be given that privilege again represents such an imminent threat. Judge Luttig’s testimony on January 6 is clanging in my head. Donald Trump is a clear and present danger. Clearly the judge, Andrew Weissmann, thought he was a clear and present danger to his trial.”

Wallace showed a graphic of a quote from the judge’s order during the segment, which Weissmann reacted to.

Trump’s “extrajudicial statements went far beyond defending himself against ‘attacks’ by ‘public figures,’” it stated. “Indeed, his statements were threatening, inflammatory, denigrating, and the targets of his statements ranged from local and federal officials, court and court staff, prosecutors and staff assigned to the cases, and private individuals including grand jurors performing their civic duty … Such inflammatory extrajudicial statements undoubtedly risk impeding the orderly administration of this Court.”

“That’s exactly what I was thinking,” Weissmann said about the quote. “That it is so chilling that you have yet another judge saying about – it’s not somebody who not only was the former president, but is now the leading Republican candidate, that this is what the country has come to. When history is written, they will look at this in terms of a real fight for the soul of our country And in terms of what the judiciary has had to do to stand up to a real attack on what it means to be American, what is means to have a rule of law in this country.”

Merchan decided Monday that the trial will start on April 15, rejecting Trump’s request to delay the proceedings more.

“Judge Merchan should be lauded for doing this,” Weissmann added. “It’s also notable that he issued this not as to all parties. He issued this gag order as to the one person before him who has shown that he has the propensity to do this and has done this in the past. That is Donald Trump. And that is the exclusive scope of this gag order and that is the person who used to be the president of the United States. And that is a sign of where we are as a country and what this election means to this country.”

Trump got indicted in April 2023 on 34 counts of allegedly falsifying business records relating to alleged hush money payments distributed to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged extramarital affair.

 

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