Mafia Don

Playing to type.

Not that it is a new phenomenon, but it is quite striking how this sounds like something a mafia boss would say in a movie (although usually behind closed doors).

In all seriousness, I suspect that most defendants would find themselves in a heap of trouble, ranging from a gag order to sitting in a cell awaiting trial for this kind of behavior.

The statement has prompted the following, via the AP: Prosecutors ask judge to issue protective order after Trump post appearing to promise revenge.

Prosecutors on Friday requested that U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan issue a protective order concerning evidence in the case, a day after Trump pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to overturn his 2020 election loss and block the peaceful transition of power. The order, different from a “gag order,” would limit what information Trump and his legal team could share publicly about the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Chris says:

    And, American Evangelicals should shout…

    Romans 12:19-21 – Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    …instead, it sounds like crickets over the silence of the (not so) Christian breast beaters.

  2. CSK says:

    Team Trump has till 5 p.m. today to respond, despite their efforts to obtain a 3 day delay.

    Trump is squalling that Chutkan and Smith are trying to take away his First Amendment rights.

  3. Daryl says:

    Someone needs to say very loudly and very clearly to the MAGA party…including House Members…

    Yes, there is a two-tiered justice system. And DJT is benefitting from it, hugely!

  4. Joe says:

    While the protective order is being widely viewed as a response to Trump’s messaging (whatever its called), I think the messaging issue is collateral to what the protective order is seeking. The protective order is to keep Trump from disclosing evidence, not from directly intimidating witnesses. Having said that, it is like a law of physics that if Trump discloses a perceived negative statement from anyone, Trump world will threaten the life of that witness. All he has to do is fan the flame a little.

    ETA, I think it is a little more difficult to identify what Trump can and can’t say about Pence, who, other than being a key witness, is a primary opponent.

  5. charontwo says:

    In all seriousness, I suspect that most defendants would find themselves in a heap of trouble, ranging from a gag order to sitting in a cell awaiting trial for this kind of behavior.

    The problem here is these can be appealed as a delaying tactic. The prosecutors (and apparently the judge) want to keep things moving along.

  6. charontwo says:

    The change of venue & motion to recuse that Lauro says Trump will bring are dead losers and will be denied in short order. You have to wonder if part of his strategy is to lose repeatedly w/ crappy motions to try to ground an argument in the public sphere that the court is biased

    I think pretty obviously Team Trump’s top priority is persuading voters the trial is unfair to discredit the process and verdict. Winning in court is by far secondary.

  7. DrDaveT says:

    @Chris: This is perhaps the bizarrest aspect of Trumpism to me. If Christians really were, every preacher in the country would be saying from the pulpit “You can follow Jesus, or you can follow Trump, but you can’t follow both. Those roads lead in opposite directions. If the Seven Deadly Sins had a political party, Trump would be their nominee.”

    These past few years have been painfully revelatory about a lot of things I should have known, but didn’t.

  8. Kathy says:


    What of the biblical commandment to render unto Benito that which is Benito’s, and unto Benito that which is God’s, because the Cheeto has more need of money for his lawyers who so unfairly won’t work if they’re not paid?

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @DrDaveT: It’s almost like those loud mouthed religious zealots who go around making a big public display of their religiousity are actually just hypocrites who merely parrot words without embracing their meaning. If only someone had warned us about them…

    “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen.”

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
    Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.
    In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

  10. SKI says:

    @MarkedMan: Way to quote and highlight the antisemitism!

  11. Scott says:

    @Chris: @DrDaveT:

    This is Trump Land:

    Aurora Renovations and Developments, LLC Will Pay $50,000 to Settle Religious Discrimination and Retaliation Suit

    Aurora Renovations and Developments, LLC, doing business as Aurora Pro Services, a North Carolina-based residential home service and repair company, has agreed to pay $50,000 and provide other relief to settle a religious harassment, discrimination, and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

    According to the EEOC, since at least June 2020, Aurora Pro Services required all employees to attend daily employer-led Christian prayer meetings. The meetings were conducted by the company owner and included Bible readings, Christian devotionals, and solicitation of prayer requests from employees. Aurora’s owner took roll before some of the meetings and reprimanded employees who did not attend. When a construction manager asked to be excused from the prayer portion of the meetings in the fall of 2020, the company refused to accommodate the employee’s religious beliefs, cut his pay, and fired him. A few months later, in January 2021, Aurora Pro Services fired a customer service representative who stopped attending the prayer meetings because the meetings conflicted with her religious beliefs.

  12. DrDaveT says:


    It’s almost like those loud mouthed religious zealots who go around making a big public display of their religiosity are actually just hypocrites who merely parrot words without embracing their meaning. If only someone had warned us about them…

    That’s the easy story. The megapreachers who are actually con men are just that — con men, fleecing the rubes. But the vast majority of people who think they are Christians are either sincere about that, or sincerely deluded about themselves. The latter are the ones who have completely weirded me out.

    I grew up in Southern Baptist churches. I know what white evangelical protestants are like. And prior to Trump, I would have bet big that 90+% of them would have rejected Trump and spit on his campaign. He literally embodies everything they teach against.

    And yet… here we are. I think ‘hypocrisy’ actually under-sells the problem. These are people who are so self-deluded that they can’t even see their own inconsistency. They are standing in a place where Jesus is telling them to ignore all of Jesus’ teachings, and they don’t see the problem.

  13. Lounsbury says:

    It’s really quite extraordinary, the blindnesss of the educated, intellos and how bound up they get in reified abstractions understood through their conceptual lens uniquely, blindly.

    The entire MAGA affaire is really quite clearly one of identity and relative status of an identity bound social group in relative decline but with the ample levers to pull, while also being trapped by own rhetoric in an exclusionary self-definition, but as well the clumsy blindness of the opposition (that is you lot, the bohemian bourgeousie intello Left) trapped in its own self-regarding closed-identarian logic.

    It has really f-all to do with arch intellectualised critiques of their intellectual positions which are at best mere façades.

    This would merely be sourly amusuing, the bungling dialogue of the deaf, were it not foreclosing pragmatic and practical political strategies to divide and conquer.

  14. CSK says:

    To add to The Mafia Don’s legal woes, a judge has tossed his defamation suit against E. Jean Carroll.

  15. Jay L Gischer says:

    @DrDaveT: What you are predicting is actually happening. I have read multiple pieces about how churches are splitting up over Trump, and how their congregation is going to engage with politics (or not). Some very conservative pastors do not want to get too involved with the immediate ebb and flow of politics, and they are losing members over it to new churches popping up where they are preaching the gospel of hate, aka. current events politics.

    I’ve read a few good pieces on it, but not that many people in the everyday press follow this or know anything about it.

  16. Gustopher says:



    He’s a snake! We caught him! He finally slipped up!

  17. David S. says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Any pieces you’d recommend? Those haven’t popped up in my newsfeed, but I’m not all that plugged into the church zeitgeist these days.

  18. Gustopher says:

    @DrDaveT, @Jay L Gischer: A friend of mine recently mentioned to me that one of her neighbors was getting involved with something that can only be described as Prosperity Buddhism.*

    There’s some weird shit going on in this country, andIm not sure whether it makes more sense to view it as a religious split, or something else appropriating the shape of some of the religions.

    *: I don’t get it either. But I don’t get a lot of things.

  19. Kurtz says:


    Most of your critiques aren’t falling on deaf ears here. Rather most of them are just, to varying degrees, off-base. And because of that, any valid criticisms you may stumble upon are mostly ignored. And with good reason. Why would anyone listen to someone who has such a cartoonish vision of them?

    Your “divide and conquer” strategy shows a fundamental lack of understanding of American politics. But much easier to blame some vision of the “boho bougie Left” that exists only in your head. Which is weird in this forum because there seems to be a fairly wide range of backgrounds among the regulars–careers, education levels, regional origins.