A top former White House financial adviser says the U.S. economy could collapse if Trump goes to jail

“Markets will take note,” warned renowned economist Kevin Hassett. “And it'll be one of the bigger market effects that we've ever seen.”

A former top White House economic adviser said the U.S. economy could collapse if former President Donald Trump "unfairly" goes to prison.

Kevin Hassett, former president of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview on "Mornings with Maria" on Fox Business that the market would react dramatically if the former Republican president goes to prison for the charges indicted in the secret money trial in New York.

"I really think if you look at the case in New York, that the judge is being so undemocratic, unconstitutional in his rulings against President Trump, it really looks like there's a conspiracy to put him in jail, to put him behind bars," Hassett said. "And if President Trump is in chains, going to Rikers Island, then would you want to buy a U.S. Treasury the next day?"

Hassett's words come at a time when former President Trump faces various court battles amid an intense presidential campaign. In the trial taking place in Manhattan, Trump is accused of falsifying business records about alleged payments to silence stories and rumors against him. According to the Prosecutor's Office's criticized legal theory, the decisive actions were to interfere in the 2016 presidential elections.

They also come as the U.S. economy suffered an unexpected slowdown in the three months from January to March, with GDP growing at 1.6% on an annualized basis, representing the slowest growth in two years.

"The thing that I'm really worried about, about short-term risk for the economy, is that the Democrats are serious in this lawfare," Hassett continued, "and if they actually succeed, then imagine, it's like we become a banana republic the moment they take him to Rikers. And I just can't imagine what happens to Treasury markets that day."

“If you're a Swiss investor and you're thinking, ‘should I buy a U.S. bond?’ And you see Trump going to Rikers on ridiculous charges, right? Then you're not going to want to buy the bonds.”

In addition to serving as president of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2017 to 2019, Hassett is vice president of the renowned Lindsey Group, a visiting distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution, and an economic contributor to different television networks such as CNN and Fox News.

"Markets will take note," Hassett warned of Trump's possible imprisonment. "And it'll be one of the bigger market effects that we've ever seen."