Senate Majority Leader Schumer Urges Protesters to Remain Peaceful After Trump Arraignment

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
April 5, 2023Donald Trump
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Senate Majority Leader Schumer Urges Protesters to Remain Peaceful After Trump Arraignment
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Feb. 7, 2023. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on the public to avoid turning to violence and intimidation after former President Donald Trump was arraigned in a Manhattan court on Tuesday on a 34-count criminal indictment.

Supporters and detractors of the former president gathered outside the Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday, trading arguments and insults as they waited for Trump to be arraigned with a 34-count indictment alleging he falsified business records to hide payments he allegedly made to suppress negative stories about his personal life. Trump’s supporters largely criticized the case, brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as a politicized prosecution, while Trump’s detractors gathered to share their support for the charges and register their dislike of the former president.

“I believe that Mr. Trump will have a fair trial that follows the facts and the law,” Schumer said in a Tuesday press statement. “There’s no place in our justice system for any outside influence or intimidation in the legal process. As the trial proceeds, protest is an American right but all protests must be peaceful.”

‘Fair Trial’

While Schumer said he believes Trump will receive a fair trial, the former president repeated accusations on Tuesday that Bragg was acting out of political animus and that the judge overseeing this case—Juan Marchan—“hates me.” Trump noted Merchan has presided over previous cases involving the Trump business organization, including a recent trial in which Trump said the judge “strong-armed” Trump organization CFO Allen Weisselberg into taking a guilty plea deal.

Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. also posted a link to a Breitbart report indicating Merchan’s daughter worked as a “director of digital persuasion” for “Kamala Harris For The People” and has worked for campaign firm tied to other Democratic political candidates.

The former president has also suggested he doesn’t believe he can get a fair trial due to the political leanings of New York City, which tends to vote heavily in favor of Democrats.

“VERY UNFAIR VENUE, WITH SOME AREAS THAT VOTED 1% REPUBLICAN. THIS CASE SHOULD BE MOVED TO NEARBY STATEN ISLAND – WOULD BE A VERY FAIR AND SECURE LOCATION FOR THE TRIAL,” the former president said in a Tuesday post on his TRUTH social media platform.

Potential for Unrest

Trump first brought attention to Bragg’s case on March 20, announcing that the Manhattan DA was preparing to announce charges. In a post on his Truth social media platform, Trump called on his supporters to “Protest, take our nation back!”

Liberal and conservative commentators both expressed concerns about Trump’s March 20 protest remarks.

Mary McCord, a former Obama-era Department of Justice official who now works as the director of the democracy advocacy center at Georgetown Law School, characterized Trump’s calls for protests of his potential arrest as an encouragement for his supporters to act violently.

“Trump knows the call-and-response impact of his words on his most ardent followers,” McCord told The Washington Post. “His call to ‘take our nation back,’ like his last-ditch call for them to ‘fight like hell’ on January 6, is not only the request but the permission for them to act, violently if necessary.”

Following Trump’s calls for protest, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) told NTD News he is worried about agent provocateurs exploiting people’s emotions over a politically divisive case to incite violence.

Biggs said he is particularly concerned about peaceful pro-Trump protests being infiltrated by inauthentic provocateurs, including possible federal agents because the FBI “won’t tell us how many people they had working the crowd on Jan. 6, 2021.”

“I don’t want to see any violence in connection to protests, even though I think the district attorney warrants being protested in New York City,” Biggs said.

In a subsequent March 25 social media post, Trump predicted his prosecution could inspire social unrest and bring about “potential death and destruction.”

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