After meeting with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Georgia on Monday, Donald Trump’s attorneys agreed to a $200,000 bail. This comes after the district prosecutor indicted Trump for a number of charges relating to the 2020 presidential elections.
Some parts of the agreement appear to be standard. Some of the conditions placed on the ex-president may be more important than they appear at first.
It is unlikely that anyone will be surprised by the bond amount of $200,000. This seems fairly normal for a case involving white-collar crimes. The conditions placed on Trump’s conduct will probably be what makes this matter controversial.
The consent bond agreement, also known as the bond agreement or consent bond order, sets out strict rules regarding Trump’s release. Trump cannot communicate with co-defendants or witnesses about the case except through his attorneys. He is also prohibited from intimidating co-defendants or witnesses. Trump is prohibited from making “direct or indirect threats of any kind against the community, or any property within the community,” which includes “posts or reposts” of other posts on social media.
The agreement states that “the defendant shall not perform any act to intimidate anyone known to him… as a co-defendant, witness or otherwise obstruct justice.”
These are rules that would have caused the former president to be in trouble in the past if they were in place. He recently posted a comment attacking the former Georgia Lt. In a post, he attacked former Georgia Lt. Mike Pence was also personally attacked by him. In the future, posts like this will almost certainly be considered intimidation.
It is reasonable to assume that in proceedings such as this, a defendant shouldn’t take any actions intended to intimidate or influence a witness. These types of situations are commonplace, and most would agree. It is illegal to intimidate a witness or jury member into acting in a way that will help those charged with crimes.
In this case, there may be more. What would be a “direct threat” to the community in Trump’s situation? Most people would assume they could distinguish between a direct threat and a non-threat with their common sense. When this language is used to create an agreement, it could be interpreted as a threat for several things that the former president may say or write on social media.
Indeed, at the very least, Trump has gotten pretty close to crossing this line even recently when he wrote a post on Truth Social just after the Justice Department indicted him in which he said: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”
Trump on Truth Social:
“IF YOU COME AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” pic.twitter.com/iByibOGhbX
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 4, 2023
These conditions could be designed to exploit one of Trump’s biggest weaknesses, his inability of keeping his mouth shut.
Trump is known to shoot himself in the leg using his Twitter thumbs. What will happen when he starts to rant on Truth Social about the people indicted? He could give Fulton County authorities the ammunition they need to claim that he violated the agreement.
Anything is possible with Trump.
Yes, these indictments are motivated by political concerns. But as I’ve said before, the former president brings a lot of his troubles on himself. These conditions just provide yet another opportunity for him to do just that.