Former President Donald J. Trump had a lot to say on the first day of the fraud trial against him and his company. Speaking to reporters at a Manhattan courthouse on Monday, he dismissed the judge as a “rogue” justice and said he did not “think the people of this country are going to stand for it.” And he focused on the official who filed the lawsuit against him, New York’s attorney general, Letitia James.
“This is a disgrace,” he said, “and you ought to go after this attorney general.”
The remark urging people to “go after” a top elected official in New York, by a former president whose invective has become a familiar backdrop of American life, was part of a pattern of increasingly sharp language from Mr. Trump.
Days earlier, he told hundreds of Republican activists in California that shoplifters should be shot. Not long before that, he insinuated that the military general he personally appointed as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should be executed for treason.
Since he first became a political candidate in the 2016 presidential race, Mr. Trump has glorified violence, suggesting he wanted to hit a protester and offering to pay the legal fees if his supporters struck protesters at his rallies. But as Mr. Trump has been indicted four times in four jurisdictions in the last five months, and now faces a civil fraud trial in New York, his violent speech has escalated.