Donald Trump is ‘acting like a petulant child’ says legal expert as he tries to get out of trouble

Donald Trump’s legal issues are ongoing and full of twists and turns. Now legal experts are calling out the dangers of his behaviour.

Donald Trump trial
© Bloomberg / GETTY IMAGES
Donald Trump trial

Donald Trump’s legal issues have been shining bright for a few months now. Actually, ever since Trump has been out of the White House he has been in trouble with justice. In recent months, two big trials have moved along in significant ways.

Discover our latest podcast

His election interference case start date was set for March 2024 and his civil fraud case began on 2 October. These two trials have been centre stage as former President Trump has acted out, both in court and on social media.

Judges, prosecutors and legal experts have called him out. Some highlight the threat he poses to the American justice system.

Donald Trump acts out in court

In the span of less than a month, Donald Trump has seen two limited gag orders issued against him. The first one happened the day after his civil fraud trial started, on 3 October. Judge Engoron had to issue the order after Donald Trump posted an old photo of one of his court clerks on Truth Social.

The post also alleged that she was the ‘girlfriend’ of a Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. That post was defamatory and revealed the identity of a court employee, putting her under the wrath of his supporters.

Following that incident, prosecution in his election interference trial asked for something that would protect jurors, witnesses and everyone involved in the case from Trump’s social media outbursts. Of course Trump’s team fought but Judge Chutkan ended up issuing a limited gag order.

On top of these orders, Trump has been seen frustrated and has been told off in court for talking during a witness testimony. Moreover, these limited gag orders are supposed to be followed, but unfortunately Trump has not been cooperative and continues to slander witnesses, judges and prosecutors online.

Trump is ‘acting like a petulant nine-year-old’

Because of his ongoing attacks and comments on the court proceedings, legal experts have been obliged to observe and analyse his behaviour. After all, it is important to keep in mind that Donald Trump isn’t simply a former President but he is also a current Presidential candidate.

It is known that, throughout his political career, Trump has used his adversaries and issues to gather the masses and generate support for himself. That is no different with these trials. Attorney General Letitia James (who is prosecuting Trump in the civil fraud case) has noted that Trump had been using the trial as a ‘political stunt’.

Legal experts have also issued several warnings. The Guardian has gathered warnings from legal experts in an article published on 23 October, and it is clear that they are seriously concerned for the state of the American justice system.

Former New York judge Richard Holwell says:

When you have a former president calling judges corrupt and crooked, it tends to rend [i.e. to tear apart]the fabric of our society and the judicial system

Robert Smith, an ex-New York court of appeals judge, adds:

As often with Trump, he’s testing the boundaries of what he can get away with by acting in such bizarre ways. He’s acting like a petulant nine-year-old as he often does.

Harvard Law School lecturer Nancy Gertner opines:

If it’s open season on judges in advance of trials, then we risk undermining the system. You can’t have a trial in which the parties have poisoned the media coverage by attacking the judges

Democratic congressman Jamie Raskin states:

Trump’s relationship to the law and the justice system is straight out of the autocrat’s playbook. He’s incapable of seeing judges acting in anything other than completely personal and political ways.
The law and justice system are just a favor bank in Trump world. He’s like a mob boss. For him, a judge is either a lackey in his pocket or his sworn enemy. Trump’s legal and political agendas are fused at this point. His whole strategy is to avoid a reckoning with justice before the election.

As trump’s legal issues are far from over, big questions remain: what can be done to stop Donald Trump from damaging the American justice system? And, will his behaviour work in his favour during the 2024 Presidential campaign?

Read more:

After posting a court clerk on social media, Trump now considered a menace to jurors

Donald Trump and his team challenge fairness of Judge Tanya Chutkan in Capital riots case

Donald Trump could be in violation of his limited gag order because of a silly oversight


Newsweek: Letitia James' New Warning to Donald Trump

Newsweek: Donald Trump Scolded By Judge in Courtroom

Rolling Stone: Trump Wastes No Time Attacking Judge Who Slapped Him With Gag Order

The Guardian: ‘He’s like a mob boss’: legal experts alarmed by Trump’s attacks on judges

Barron Trump’s behaviour changes when with Melania or Donald Trump, says expert Barron Trump’s behaviour changes when with Melania or Donald Trump, says expert