We’ve seen Donald Trump talk himself into trouble too many times to count over the years. Well, if we’re to believe a federal judge, he may have talked one of the sansculottes who stormed the Capitol in his name into an all-expenses-paid stay in jail pending trial.
Earlier this week, prosecutors appealed federal magistrate Regina Cannon’s decision to grant bail for Jack Whitton, a CrossFit instructor from Locust Grove, Ga., south of Atlanta. Looking at the case, you have to wonder what Cannon was thinking. Whitton is accused of taking part in some of the most grisly violence visited upon the officers who had their hands full while defending the Capitol. He clubbed one officer with a crutch, kicked another before dragging him into a crowd by his helmet, and told another, “You’re going to die tonight.” He also texted one of his friends a picture of a cop’s bloodied hand and bragged that he’d “fed” the cop to the crowd.
When federal judge Emmet Sullivan saw this, it wasn’t even a close call. He ordered Whitton kept in jail. Raw Story notes that Sullivan also cited as evidence the words of Whitton’s messiah.
“Former President Donald J. Trump continues to make forceful public comments about the ‘stolen election,’ chastising individuals who did not reject the supposedly illegitimate results that put the current administration in place,” the opinion states, noting that Trump had issued an April 4 statement about a “rigged” presidential election.
Sullivan adds: “As was true in Mr. [Jeffrey Sabol’s] case, such comments reflect the continued threat posed by individuals like Mr. Whitton, who has demonstrated that he is willing and able to engage in extreme and terrifying levels of violence against law enforcement with a chilling disregard for the rule of law and the lives of law enforcement, seemingly based on mistaken beliefs about the illegitimacy of the current administration. In this regard, Mr. Whitton, like Mr. Sabol, is distinguishable from other Capitol Riot defendants who displayed a dangerous distain for democracy and the rule of law on January 6, 2021, but who did not engage in violence… or who did not direct their ‘forceful conduct’ toward inflicting injury.”
Sullivan’s opinion cites Trump’s now-infamous tirade against that “dumb son of a bitch” Mitch McConnell at Mar-a-Lago, as well as his unhinged Easter tweet about the “Radical Left CRAZIES who rigged our Presidential Election.”
This isn’t the first time that Sullivan has rebuked Trump in open court. If you’ll remember, he warned Trump that he and his acolytes potentially face some serious legal jeopardy for the horror of Jan. 6. When a federal judge calls out a former president in open court by name, that’s a BFD. Or at least it should be.
As I write this, Facebook’s Oversight Board is still weighing whether to allow Trump back on Facebook and Instagram. Hopefully the Board has taken note of a federal judge deeming Trump’s comments so dangerous that those who stormed the Capitol in his name must stay locked up.