Adams Says Rikers, Staffed by ‘Professionals,’ Is Ready for Trump

A day after the judge presiding over Donald J. Trump’s trial said he would consider jailing the former president should he continue to violate court orders, Mayor Eric Adams said the city’s lockups stand ready.

“Our amazing commissioner, she is prepared for whatever comes on Rikers Island,” said the mayor at an unrelated news conference, apparently referring to Lynelle Maginley-Liddie, the commissioner of the Department of Correction. “I’m pretty sure she would be prepared to manage and deal with the situation.”

Justice Juan M. Merchan, the judge presiding over Mr. Trump’s criminal trial in Lower Manhattan, on Monday warned the former president that should he continue to defy a gag order, he might end up on Rikers, because fines “are not serving as a deterrent.”

“Going forward, this court will have to consider jail,” Justice Merchan said.

The judge has prohibited the former president from making attacks on witnesses, jurors and court staff, an order Mr. Trump has repeatedly violated.

The prospect of Mr. Trump ending up on Rikers Island, New York City’s main jail and a notoriously violent, dilapidated facility, has already been the topic of discussion among federal, state and local officials.

The New York Times reported in April that the possibility poses unprecedented logistical challenges for the U.S. Secret Service, which would have to protect Mr. Trump within Rikers Island by screening his food, separating him from other inmates and rotating officers into the jail on regular shifts.

If Mr. Trump does end up on Rikers Island, he would be in prominent company. His longtime financial lieutenant, Allen H. Weisselberg, is serving a five-month sentence on Rikers for perjury.

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul, is being sent back there, according to The City. The nonprofit publication found that he had been enjoying “VIP treatment” in a private room at Bellevue Hospital after his 2020 conviction on felony sex crimes was recently overturned. (A 2022 conviction in California on rape charges still stands.)

On Tuesday, Mr. Adams expressed no concerns about the challenges Mr. Trump’s imprisonment might pose for Rikers Island.

“They’re professionals,” he said. “They’ll be ready.”

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