Former President Donald Trump has suggested that General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should be executed for treason for allegedly undermining his authority and communicating with China during his presidency.
According to The Independent on Sunday, September 24, 2023, Trump made the remark on his social media platform, Truth Social, on Friday night, in a possible breach of his pre-trial release conditions.
Trump is currently facing multiple criminal charges, including inciting the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, obstructing justice, tax fraud, and violating campaign finance laws.
He was arrested in August and released on bail, with strict conditions that prohibit him from contacting or influencing potential witnesses, jurors, or judges in his cases.
He is also barred from making any public statements that could incite violence or interfere with the administration of justice.
However, Trump has repeatedly violated these conditions, using Truth Social and other platforms to attack his political enemies, spread misinformation, and rally his supporters.
His latest post targeted Milley, who has been accused of secretly assuring his Chinese counterpart that he would warn him of any impending attack by Trump in the final days of his presidency.
The allegation was first reported in a book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa and later confirmed by Milley himself.
Trump wrote that Milley’s act was “so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been death!”
He also called Milley “a woke train wreck” and claimed that he was “in charge of a rigged election” that resulted in his defeat.
He added that he would have fired Milley if he had known about his actions and that he hoped that “the Senate would act appropriately and quickly.”
Trump’s post drew swift condemnation from legal experts, who said that it could amount to witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and incitement to violence.
They also warned that it could jeopardize his bail status and lead to his detention until his trials begin.
“Trump is playing with fire here,” said Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney and a law professor at the University of Michigan.
“He is essentially suggesting that a high-ranking military officer should be killed for doing his duty to protect the nation from a rogue president. That is not only outrageous but also potentially criminal.”
McQuade said that Trump’s post could be seen as an attempt to influence or intimidate Milley, who is likely to be a key witness in the investigation into the January 6 attack.
She also said that it could incite violence against Milley or other officials who may testify against Trump.
“Trump knows that he has a loyal base of followers who are willing to act on his words,” she said. “He is putting Milley’s life at risk, as well as the lives of anyone who may challenge his false narrative of the election.”
McQuade said that Trump’s post could also violate the terms of his bail, which require him to refrain from any conduct that could obstruct or impede the due administration of justice.
She said that the prosecutors or the judge in his cases could revoke his bail and order him to be detained until his trials.
“The judge has already warned Trump that he will not tolerate any violations of his release conditions,” she said.
“He has given him enough chances to comply. If he continues to defy the court’s orders, he may find himself behind bars sooner than he thinks.”