Judge Targeted by Trump Once Faced Death Threats From Mexican Cartel

Before he faced Trump's ire, Gonzalo Curiel faced death threats.

ABC News Nightline’s Deborah Amos interviewed Curiel in 2002 when he was an assistant U.S. attorney. Curiel had been trying to keep illicit drugs from coming over the U.S. border with Mexico along the Tijuana corridor by doing battle with the infamous Arellano-Felix cartel. He described the takedown of top cartel leaders as a “huge deal.”

Amos asked Curiel if he felt more personally secure knowing that cartel leader Benjamin Arellano Felix was behind bars and cartel enforcer Ramon Arellano Felix was dead. “It doesn’t hurt,” Curiel said.

Curiel has not commented on Trump's remarks, but his brother Raul Curiel told ABC News that Trump is a "blowhard" and insisted Gonzalo Curiel is "objective."

"My brother is very objective. He's following the job. He's following the letter of the law," said Raul Curiel. "He has absolutely no agenda against Trump."

“The judicial process must be administered fairly without regard to a person’s background, economic situation or personal situation,” Curiel responded. “Empathy does not play a role in the judicial process.”