Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took on Donald Trump on Monday via Twitter over Trumps attacks on the judge in the Trump University lawsuit.
“Judge Curiel is an American hero who stood up to the Mexican cartels,” the Republican former governor tweeted. “I was proud to appoint him when I was Gov.”
Judge Curiel is an American hero who stood up to the Mexican cartels. I was proud to appoint him when I was Gov. https://t.co/ADLCBXw57Q
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 6, 2016
He then linked to an article in the New York Times by Alan Rappeport that details the judge’s service as a federal prosecutor.
The former California governor reacted to Trump’s comments about the now federal court judge who is presiding in the Trump University lawsuit. Trump attacked the judge saying, in part, “I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel,” Breitbart News’ Joel Pollak reported in May. He also noted that the judge “happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great, I think that’s fine.”
Rapperport reported that Trump later doubled down on his comments during an interview and said, “I have a Mexican judge. He’s of Mexican heritage. He should have recused himself, not only for that, for other things.”
When Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel was a federal prosecutor, the took on cases involving drug cartels. For some period of time, threats against his life became severe that the judge went into hiding under the protection of deputy U.S. Marshals, Rappeport reported. Not even his closest family members were allowed to know of his whereabouts.
“It was kind of scary,” Mr. Curiel’s brother Raul told the New York Times reporter.. “He had to be protected. He always had one or two bodyguards with him.”
Rappeport stated that Curiel was a “hard-charging” prosecutor during the period U.S. authorities were attempting to help Mexico deal with the Arellano Félix brothers. The brothers were the head of a violent drug cartel that controlled narcotics trafficking in the western parts of the U.S.
Curiel was appointed as a California state judge by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2007 and then to the federal courts by President Obama in 2011.
A U.S. Congressman from the border region of Texas also responded to Trumps comments, both about the judge. Breitbart Texas reported Monday afternoon. “Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your ass,” Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX) wrote in an open letter to Mr. Trump.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.