Committee Reports

Post Trump-Trial Rhetoric Threatens the Rule of Law and Public Safety

The New York City Bar Association is gravely concerned over recent actions taken by members of the public and some members of Congress in the wake of the conviction of former President Donald J. Trump. These actions pose a very real threat to the rule of law and undermine our system of justice and institutions.

We have closely monitored each step of the criminal proceedings in New York County against the former President. We can say that each step in that process, as reported in detailed press accounts, demonstrates that the system worked as it should. A grand jury concluded that sufficient evidence warranted bringing charges against the defendant. Prosecutors chose to bring charges that were supported by the available evidence. As stated in the New York City Bar Association’s prior statement in support of Justice Juan Merchan, an impartial court presided over the presentation of evidence, including the testimony of many witnesses.[1] The former President’s guilt or innocence was then determined by a jury of his peers—just as in thousands of criminal trials taking place every day throughout the country. The former President, now convicted, has expressed a desire to exercise his right to appeal that jury’s conviction, which he is entitled to do. Of course, if there were irregularities and improprieties in the process that has taken place to date, we have confidence that New York’s appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, if it chooses to review the case, will identify them and reverse the conviction, if warranted.

In the days following the jury’s guilty verdict of the former President, however, media outlets and other organizations began to report an increase in public calls to attack jurors, the judge, and the prosecutors.[2] In the most extreme cases, the former President’s supporters on social media called for the doxing of jurors to make them “suicidal,” threaten their safety, and even called for the murder of New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan.[3] This is, unfortunately, a recurring practice by some supporters of the former President.[4] It has also been unfortunate that he has failed to condemn it.

Fanning the flames of strife are comments by some members of Congress that impugn the judicial process—which has started even prior to imposition of the sentence and before the former President has exercised his rights to appeal. On May 31, 2024, Representative Jim Jordan publicly called on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to appear at a hearing on the “Weaponization of the Federal Government” before the “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government” of the Committee of the Judiciary, seemingly in response to a single comment made by the former President during a press conference just hours prior.[5] Other members of Congress repeated the former President’s attacks against the judicial system, the judge, the jurors, and the Biden Administration—with some suggesting they would support the former President “whether he is a free man or a prisoner of the Biden regime.”[6] Speaker Mike Johnson has also publicly suggested that he was personally aware that some members of the Supreme Court shared his view that the prosecution was unfair, and that the Court would “step in” to “set this straight.”[7]

Such statements risk interfering with and compromising a legitimate judicial process. Prosecutors are entitled to perform their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment, or interference, and they are obligated to examine and prosecute all types of crimes, including crimes committed by a public official involving issues of corruption and abuse of power. Prosecutors should be held accountable for their exercise of discretion, but the rhetoric of the type we have seen is not productive, and it is dangerous. Members of the judiciary must also be afforded the ability to rule on cases impartially, without suffering from improper influences, inducements, pressures, threats or interferences. Judges, too, are not immune from criticism, but there are some boundaries that must be respected—e.g., criticism must not be threatening in nature; nor should it undermine the rule of law. Congressional members who refuse to condemn public statements that question the legitimacy of the process—or statements actively threatening judges, jurors, and prosecutors—and who instead actively attack the credibility of the former President’s guilty verdict, undermine the integrity of our institutions and threaten the safety of those who participate in the process according to law.

The former President is being afforded all the benefits of due process that any person accused, and convicted, of a crime is entitled to. Each step that led to the former President’s guilty verdict embodies the highest ideals of the American justice system: no person—not even a former President—is above the law.

The New York City Bar Association calls on all members of Congress to respect the judicial process and to refrain from using rhetoric that harms our judicial institutions and calls the legitimacy of those institutions into doubt.


[1] New York City Bar Association, “Statement in Support of Justice Juan Merchan,” April 1, 2024,

[2]Jared Holt, Cody Zoschak, and Katherine Keneally, “The Narratives Sounding Trump’s Verdict are Strikingly Similar and Dangerous,” May 31, 2024,; see also Joseph Tanfani, Ned Parker, and Peter Eisler, “Trump Supporters Call for Riots and Violent Retribution After Verdict,” Reuters, May 31, 2024,

[3] Ryan J. Reilly, “Trump Supporters Try to Dox Jurors and Post Violent Threats After His Conviction,” NBC News, May 31, 2024,

[4] Peter Eisler, Ned Parker, and Joseph Tanfani, “Trump Blasts His Trial Judges.  Then His Fans Call for Violence.,” Reuters, May 14, 2024,

[5] Compare Rebecca Beitsch, “Jim Jordan Demands Bragg Testimony Following Trump Hush Money Guilty Verdict,” The Hill, May 31, 2024,  with C-Span, Former President Trump Press Conference Following Guilty Verdict, May 31, 2024, at 24:09.

[6] Mary Clarke Jalonick, Republican Lawmakers React With Fury To Trump Verdict and Rally to His Defense,” Associated Press, May 30, 2024,; see also Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clarke Jalonick, Republicans Join Trump’s Attacks on Justice System and Campaign of Vengeance After Guilty Verdict,” Associated Press, June 1, 2024,

[7] Speaker Johnson stated, ““I think that the Justices on the court – I know many of them personally – I think they are deeply concerned about that, as we are. “  Andrew Solender, “Johnson Urges Supreme Court to ‘Step In’ on Trump Verdict,” Axios, May 31, 2024,;  Luke Broadwater, “Johnson Says Supreme Court Should Step In to Overturn Trump’s Conviction,” N.Y. Times, May 31, 2024,