Over the Easter weekend Trump threatened the current president of the United States by posting an image of President Biden kidnapped, bound and gagged in the back of a pickup truck. This imagery offers Trump followers a permissible way to think and possibly act violently.

Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya ordered Trump not to violate any more laws as one of the conditions of his bond and warned that his release could be revoked if he committed any more criminal offenses during his arraignment hearing in August 2023.

“Well, you know what? Threatening the president of the United States is a crime,” (Andrew) Weissmann continued. “The legal question and factual one is whether what he has engaged in with respect to posting the image of Joe Biden bound and gagged with what appears to be a bullet hole in his head constitutes that kind of threat.” 

It is a crime to threaten the president of the United States. If it were any other criminal defendant out on bond posting this stuff he would be in jail NOW pending his trial. Defendants in criminal cases have rights but not the same rights as everyone else. They are out on bond but they must not commit crimes or threaten people and if they do, they should expect to be sent to the slammer.

Trump has 4 criminal cases coming for him. In every single case we have seen him threaten the judges, their families, witnesses and prosecutors. No other criminal defendant other than Donald Trump would be able to get away with this behavior without being incarcerated prior to trial. Trump is the most dangerous defendant our country has ever seen because he has a large following of gun toting, cultlike followers and the biggest megaphone possible as a prior president running a current campaign to be president again.


18 USCS § 3142 authorizes a judge to detain a federal criminal defendant pending trial. This section allows a judge to detain a defendant if the judge determines that conditions exist that raise doubt as to whether the defendant will appear at trial or whether the defendant may cause harm to the community. However, in determining whether the accused constitutes a danger to the community, each case must be considered on its own merits and a court must determine whether the need to protect the community becomes so  compelling that detention is appropriate.

In short, pretrial detention is used by federal judges to incarcerate defendants where there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant endangers the community or commits crimes while out on bond before the trial begins. Pretrial detention protects everyone connected with an upcoming trial and can, most importantly, help jurors feel safe if they are chosen to participate in the jury system.

Trump has shown himself to be unable to restrain himself when it comes to threatening anyone trying to hold him accountable. In prior cases he has had gag orders that he has violated. Trump might have had plausible deniability in the beginning when these indictments dropped as he posted or re-posted threatening content on social media, but at this point that deniability is gone.

New York State is Trying to Figure Out Pretrial Detention

The issue of pretrial detention for defendant Trump in New York may also be complicated by a debate going on in New York state and a change in the state laws over bail and whether alleged dangerousness is even a consideration for pretrial detention in New York.

But here we have special circumstances. Judge Merchan had already issued a gag order which has now been expanded to cover threats to family members of court staff and the prosecution team as well as Judge Merchan’s own daughter. Trump originally took advantage of the narrow scope of the gag order to attack this judge’s daughter for the “crime” of being a Democrat.

Judge Merchan will begin this criminal trial on April 15. Even now he could order Trump to appear before him for a hearing and ask Trump to explain himself. Because of the threat to President Biden from Trump’s deranged followers, Merchan could and should use his authority to warn Trump that incarceration is imminent unless he immediately stops all of these threats. We know that Trump is a dangerous person who can call his followers to action. He did that to get the MAGAs to attack the capitol on January 6th. First Amendment rights do not allow Trump to endanger the sitting president or witnesses or jurors or family members of the judge or court staff. When it comes to a dangerous defendant it is hard to imagine a defendant who is more dangerous than Trump is right now to anyone Trump considers to be his enemy.


Because Trump has a huge following and is running for president, the judges who could put Trump in jail pretrial seem to keep hoping he will simply comply with the rules and just stop threatening people. That is not going to happen. Trump is incorrigible and he also knows that his road back to power relies on showing he is beyond the rules, a strong man who will not follow rules that others establish. This failure to comply with norms and rules turns out to be one of Trump’s selling points with the MAGA base.

The truth is that Trump is more of a weak, thin-skinned man who is fretful, fearful, unable to control himself, and crude. Over Easter weekend he ranted on social media over 75 times. This is what he does when he is upset and enraged. It is also what he has done to make a case for re-election for himself. It works with his base, who turn out in the primary, but it is hard to believe that this will win over general election voters and independents.  General election voters are not extremists.  Even now the polls reflect a 10 point swing by independent voters away from Trump to Joe Biden after Biden’s state of the union.

I think it likely that the judges are waiting for some actual harm as a result of Trump’s incendiary rhetoric and posts before they limit Trump’s ability to campaign by putting him in the slammer. If someone does get hurt or killed and there is direct correlation to something Trump said, I think the judge here would be compelled to hold a hearing about pretrial detention for Trump because the clear and present danger issue would then be evident.

Another factor is that the more Trump seems to be persecuted, the more his base stands up for him and gets riled up to fight for him. Incarcerating Trump would likely embolden his rabid base and create an even greater likelihood of harm. This may be holding Judge Merchan back from taking action to threaten Trump.


In an interesting counter offensive move Joe Biden has decided to poke the bear. He is chiding, insulting, mocking and denigrating Trump to get him to behave in just this totally predictable out of control way. Why? In part, because it shows the general public Trump’s real character. But also, because behind closed doors, Biden thinks Trump is a totally disgusting, horrible human being and has said so to his allies.

The president has described Trump to longtime friends and close aides as a “sick fuck” who delights in others’ misfortunes, according to three people who have heard the president use the profane description. According to one of the people who has spoken with the president, Biden recently said of Trump: “What a fucking asshole the guy is.”

That lovely, sweet Michelle Obama idea of going high when they go low also doesn’t work when your opponent is Donald Trump. When a bully hits you, you have to hit back. So, Biden has decided to change up his tactics.

Biden is going rogue on his handlers who might have wanted him to be more “presidential”.  He’s having fun spit balling Trump insults and doing a good job of getting under Trump’s thin skin. Personally I wonder what took him so long.

In recent weeks, both in private and public settings, Biden has ramped up personal, biting and often sarcastic broadsides against his Republican opponent, targeting his financial challenges, his campaign tempo and even his weight. 

It’s a strategy largely driven by Biden himself, according to multiple aides and advisers familiar with the approach. 

“He has Donald Trump read like a book, and it’s fun to watch,” a Biden aide said. 

“This is him, and we’re following his lead,” one Biden aide said. “There’s just something about Joe Biden that gets under Donald Trump’s skin more than anybody, and I think Joe Biden knows that.”

Biden has dubbed Trump “mentally unfit”, while this week his campaign declared that the US “deserves better than a feeble, confused, and tired Donald Trump”.

The president’s campaign has dubbed Trump “weak and desperate – both as a man and a candidate for president”. They’ve also taken to calling Trump, who says he is a multibillionaire but was recently unable to pay a court-ordered $454m bond, “Broke Don”. (NBC News)


As Trump’s first criminal trial approaches, it is predictable that he will try to do something desperate like fire his entire current legal team to try to get himself the delay he thinks will beat the system. But Judge Merchan could stop him from getting away with that ploy. The judge could order him to keep some members of his current team and refuse to change the start date of April 15th.

Whatever happens in the coming weeks, it is certain to create more pressure on Trump and Trump is certain to behave worse in his responses. Biden’s poll numbers are starting to rise as the economy does better. Maybe they are also rising because Biden is finally pushing back against Trump and mocking him. The MAGA led House continues to be totally dysfunctional. Trump is losing his mental capacity- he has evidence of early Alzheimers disease like his father before him- slurring words in a particular way that indicates dementia and struggling to speak cogently at times which will also get worse in the next months before the election. Women are enraged that the Republicans took away their right to reproductive control over their own bodies. In special elections across the country Democrats are winning in surprising places like the Alabama state house race won by an amazing 36 points by Marjorie Land in what I believe was a 7 point Trump district.

Trump is living in the bubble of MAGA rallies and Mar-a-Lago where his supporters give him a standing ovation whenever he comes into the room. Even if Trump’s MAGA followers still love him, Trump needs more than the MAGA members of the GOP to win re-election. He needs those suburban mothers who know who put in those Supreme Court justices who took away their reproductive rights and he needs educated Nikki Haley voters to come back to him.

Let’s see if the general electorate wakes up over the next few months to realize the fact that the Republican nominee is a crazy, vile, meanspirited dictator wannabe who could soon be a convicted felon. Remember that guy? There were good reasons why he got voted out of office after one term. And he is a lot worse now than he was before.