NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 04: Former U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court on April 04, 2023 in New York, New York. Trump will be arraigned during his first court appearance today following an indictment by a grand jury that heard evidence about money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. With the indictment, Trump becomes the first former U.S. president in history to be charged with a criminal offense. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

The Incipient Threat Of Political Violence

In the wake of the Mar-a-Lago indictment there were echoes of Trump’s call to arms before Jan. 6, urging supporters to protest his first court appearance tomorrow.

There’s two levels of analysis here: (i) the immediate risk assessment of something bad happening Tuesday; and (ii) the broader threat posed by the injection of political violence – or even the threat of violence – into the public dialogue.

As for tomorrow, my general sense from people who track these things closely, is that there’s insufficient time and coordination among MAGA and other extremists groups to pull off a Jan. 6-like disturbance in Miami. Not no risk, but low risk.

Former DHS official Juliette Kayyem has a good representative sample of that line of thinking:

The bottom line is this week is more likely to see lone-wolf or one-off acts of violence inspired by heated rhetoric from Trump and others than an mob attack on the courthouse in Miami or on law enforcement there. But don’t take that as reassuring. It was shortly after the Mar-a-Lago raid last August that a gunman attacked the FBI field office in Cincinnati.

As for the broader emergence of political violence and rhetoric tinged with violence, we continue to be in a very bad place.

“Political violence experts say that even if aggressive language by high-profile individuals does not directly end in physical harm, it creates a dangerous atmosphere in which the idea of violence becomes more accepted, especially if such rhetoric is left unchecked,” the NYT reported.

What To Expect Tomorrow

3 p.m. ET: Trump to surrender to federal authorities in Miami and appear for his arraignment on the Mar-a-Lago charges

8:15 p.m. ET: Trump will make remarks from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Jack Smith Is Stuck With Aileen Cannon

The NYT’s Charlie Savage dug in deep on how U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon ended up assigned the Trump criminal case in Florida. In short, there was nothing unusual or untoward about her receiving the assignment. But the key takeaway is that unless she decides to recuse herself, it looks like the case is with her for the long haul, not just initially, as was reported last week.

The Dog That Didn’t Bark

If you were looking for any early signs of Republicans breaking with the Trump cult of personality over the Mar-a-Lago indictment, sorry to disappoint. Neither Mike Pence nor Ron DeSantis could bring themselves to seize on the indictment even thought they’re running against Trump. In fact, they both attacked the indictment and the Justice Department.

Best Line

Jon Lovett on the MAL indictment: “It’s so funny it feels as though DOJ crossed the writer’s picket line.”

The Worst Client In History

Bloomberg: Trump Indictment Highlights the Perils of Being His Lawyer

NYT: Trump Indictment Shows Critical Evidence Came From One of His Own Lawyers


I’d prefer if my ex-criminal defense attorney would, to use the legal term of art, shut the fuck up. But former Trump lawyer Tim Parlatore has been out there for days now doing stuff like this:

Great Thread

Jeff Shalet has a must-read thread from Saturday dissecting Trump’s first post-indictment speech in real-time. Really worth a moment of your time:

Fake Outrage

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tried on the fake umbrage, in-your-face, confront-the-media-to-show-your-own-strength that Donald Trump perfected and Ron DeSantis imitates. The problem – besides it being ridiculous and transparent – is Graham is terrible at it:

Keep An Eye On This

The proceedings to strip Trump coup architect John Eastman of his law license in California are ramping up.

Things You May Have Missed Friday

I know you were gobbling up the Trump indictment in all its glory Friday afternoon, so let me flag a couple of things you may have missed in the MAL tsunami:

  • Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has appealed a judge’s decision to release publicly the names of the co-signors on his $500,000 bond that is keeping him out of jail before his trial on federal charges.
  • The chief federal judge in DC partially unsealed his secret April decision and briefs on whether former Vice President Mike Pence had to testify to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating Jan. 6 and the Trump-led effort to overturn the 2020 election. Pence, who subsequently testified to the grand jury on April 27 won a small concession from the judge that the Speech or Debate Clause did shield him from questioning in his role as president of the Senate, but in practice that left very little off-limits for Smith.

Still Stuck On The Civil War

The leading non-Trump contenders for the GOP nomination for president are touting their neo-Confederate bona fides, promising to drop the name Ft. Liberty and restore Ft. Bragg:

The Grand Wizard … Oops … I Mean Governor

Quite a moment at the Tony’s:



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