By David Jackson
The New York court system said Thursday it is constantly assessing security in light of reported death threats to the judge handling the criminal case of former President Donald Trump.
Threats surfaced after Trump attacked Judge Juan Merchan over his handling of a previous case, despite warnings from the judge against comments that could incite violence.
Lucian Chalfen, director of public information for the Unified Court System in New York, said security is a constant concern.
“Over the past weeks we have continued to evaluate and assess security concerns and potential threats and have maintained an increased security presence in and around courthouses and throughout the judiciary and will adjust protocols as necessary,” Chalfen said
He added that judicial chambers have been “getting the predictable harassing and defamatory calls and emails, all of which are being assessed.”
NBC News, citing an unnamed court official, reported that “dozens of threats have recently been directed at Judge Juan Merchan and his chambers.” Other sources told NBC that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and other officials also continue to receive threats.
Trump pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the 34 counts in the case that revolves around hush money to an alleged former mistress.
The first former president to ever be indicted, Trump is charged with falsifying business records in order conceal violations of campaign finance laws.
During a post-arraignment speech at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump – who is running for president again in 2024 – called it a “fake case” that amounted to “massive election interference.”
At one point, Trump claimed that “I have a Trump hating judge, with a Trump hating wife and family.”
Trump has also attacked Bragg and his wife. Increased death threats have also been reported regarding the district attorney.
During the arraignment in New York, the judge told Trump to “refrain from making statements that are likely to incite violence and civil unrest.”
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