Federal judge under fire after Trump comments, set to retire

Judge under fire after Trump comments

SAN ANTONIO -- The federal judge who said people who deny that Donald Trump is their president “should go to another country,” is retiring as his bosses review a complaint of misconduct against him.

KENS 5 broke the story on Judge Primomo’s controversial comments on Nov. 17 at a citizenship ceremony.

RELATED: Federal judge: 'If you don't like [Trump], you should go to another country'

Before hundreds of brand new citizens, Primomo talked about the recent presidential election for around seven minutes.

“I can assure you that whether you voted for [Donald Trump] or you did not vote for him if you are a citizen of the United States, he is your president,” said Primomo. “He will be your president, and if you do not like that, you need to go to another country.”

Primomo told KENS 5 he was referring to protestors, including some in San Antonio, who hold signs saying Trump is not their president.

During his remarks at the citizenship ceremony at the Institute of Texan Cultures, he also went after NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem in protest of the treatment of African Americans in the U.S.

“I detest that because you can protest things that happen in this country,” said Primomo. “You have every right to protest the things that you're protesting, but you don't do that by offending national symbols, like the national anthem and the flag of the United States.”

After the citizenship ceremony was over, Primomo told KENS 5 he didn’t vote for Donald Trump, and that his comments were meant to bring healing to a very divided country.

On Nov. 21, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, filed a complaint of misconduct against Primomo. The complaint said Primomo’s remarks are an “admonishment against exercising the right free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

“Judge Primomo knows full well that Americans are guaranteed the right to express their political views, even by ‘offending national symbols like the national anthem and the flag of the United States,’” said the MALDEF complaint. “Judge Primomo also knows that Americans, including foreign-born Americans, are not required to leave the United States if they disagree with the election of a particular president. For a federal judge to knowingly say otherwise to a group of new Americans, many of whom may not yet fully be away of their Constitutional rights, is disgraceful.”

Primomo's bosses at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals are now reviewing the complaint.

KENS 5 called Judge Primomo seeking comment on this story, but Judge Primomo decline to comment.

The day after the complaint was filed, Primomo sent a letter, informing his bosses he would retire in 2017.

Primomo continues to work at the federal courthouse in San Antonio. He plans to do so until September when he turns 65-year-old. At that time, he would be eligible to retire and continue receiving his salary for the rest of his life.

(© 2016 KENS)


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