Trump alludes to violence by supporters if he goes to jail - but says he’s fine with house arrest

The former president often suggests his supporters will become violent if he doesn’t get his way

Andrew Feinberg
Washington DC
Monday 03 June 2024 15:30 BST
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5 key moments in the Trump Trial

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Louise Thomas

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Former president turned convicted felon Donald Trump has suggested his supporters would resort to violence if he is jailed after being found guilty of 34 felonies in New York last week.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Trump said that he would be “ok” if the judge overseeing his case, Justice Juan Merchan, orders him to a period of house arrest at his July 11 sentencing - just four days before he is set to accept the Republican party’s nomination to run against President Joe Biden in this year’s general election.

Trump also rebuked one of his attorneys for saying in a previous interview that Merchan should shy away from a custodial sentence because of his status as a former president.

Donald Trump attends UFC 302 at Prudential Center on Saturday in Newark, New Jersey. He was found guilty of 34 felonies in New York last week
Donald Trump attends UFC 302 at Prudential Center on Saturday in Newark, New Jersey. He was found guilty of 34 felonies in New York last week (Getty Images)

“You don’t beg for anything,” Trump told Fox and Friends Weekend on Sunday.

The ex-president - whose supporters violently stormed the US Capitol in a failed attempt to prevent certification of his 2020 election loss to President Biden - then said that he was unsure the American public would “stand for” him being incarcerated, and hinted that such a development could have a similar outcome to his election loss.

“I think it would be tough for the public to take, you know, at a certain point, there’s a breaking point,” Trump said.

Trump is the first former president in US history to be a convicted felon and face the possibility of a prison term. Last Thursday, a Manhattan jury found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records with the intent to conceal a crime.

Each count could carry a maximum of four years in prison, though Merchan could sentence Trump to probation or community service instead. However, legal experts have suggested that Trump’s complete lack of remorse — including calling the trial “rigged” and suggesting the case against him was fabricated — could move the judge to impose prison time. Experts have also suggested Merchan would take into account Trump’s multiple violations of a gag order instituted against him during the trial.

It’s unclear how a prison sentence could be carried out were Trump to win the White House in November. The US Secret Service — the agency responsible for protecting him as an ex-president — has reportedly held internal discussions about how they would carry out their functions in a correctional setting.

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