Judge warns Trump against bribing or influencing witnesses

Judge warns Trump against bribing or influencing witnesses
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The magistrate judge handling former President Trump’s arraignment on charges related to trying to overturn the 2020 election warned him Thursday against bribing or influencing witnesses.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya reminded Trump during the arraignment proceedings that bribing, influencing or retaliating against witnesses is a crime.

While Upadhyaya will oversee Trump’s arraignment, she will not oversee the trial. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee who has handed down strong sentences to Jan. 6 defendants.

The warning to Trump is notable given the House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol alleged the former president and his allies tried to contact and influence a witness in that probe.

Related coverage from The Hill

Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said at a hearing last summer that Trump tried to call an unnamed witness. She separately described a case of a witness describing receiving phone calls reminding them that Trump was paying attention to who said what.

Transcripts released last December detailed how Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide, dealt with efforts by what she referred to as “Trump World” to diminish the impact of her testimony and withhold information from investigators.

Ella Lee contributed.

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