Trump’s Team Eviscerated Jack Smith’s Gag Order

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In a thirty-seven-page legal filing, Donald Trump’s team obliterated Judge Tanya Chutkan’s gag order. The searing legal brief hit them with point after point on First Amendment grounds.

The legal team said the gag order violates “a long list of the First Amendment’s most basic doctrines” and would “flunk first-grade math.”

They noted 33 cases that set precedents going back as far as 1959.

It began with the obvious fact that a judge shouldn’t have the power to stop a president who is campaigning from speaking.

Emphasis added

The Gag Order installs a single federal judge as a barrier between the leading candidate for President, President Donald J. Trump, and every American across the country. The district court had no business inserting itself into the Presidential election, just weeks before the Iowa caucuses. The First Amendment does not permit the district court to micromanage President Trump’s core political speech, nor to dictate what speech is sufficiently “general” and what speech is too “targeted” for the court’s liking.”

The prosecution’s defense of the Gag Order suffers from other yawning, logical gaps. The prosecution relies heavily on a parallel gag order entered in New York Court, which has now been stayed pending appeal. The prosecution contends that silencing a political candidate with over 100 million followers imposes an equal injury as silencing a single speaker– an argument that would flunk first grade math. The prosecution likens President Trump’s speech to Henry II’s meddlesome priest comment – overlooking the difference in continents, countries, just a few historical developments since 1170, such as the Declaration of Independence and the adoption of the First Amendment to our United States Constitution.  The prosecution relies on his media reports as a substitute for evidence – all proving the evidence in the record is inadequate.

“The Gag Order violates a long list of the First Amendment’s most basic doctrines—such as the primacy of campaign speech, the audience’s right to listen, the categorical ban against a “heckler’s veto,” and the heightened protection for criticism of public figures, among others. The prosecution blithely assumes that these venerable doctrines “ha[ve] no bearing on this appeal,” Resp. Br. 27, because the case involves a pending criminal prosecution. That is indefensible.”

Criminal proceedings do not suspend the First Amendment; if anything, they heighten the need for First Amendment protection.”

“The prosecution’s statement of facts, Resp. Br. 4-7, effectively admits that the record is “devoid of … ‘actual facts’” showing any imminent risk of threats, harassment, or intimidation.”

“The prosecution’s objection to this post is a naked attempt to muzzle public criticism of itself.”

It came after Trump called them “thugs” and “lunatics.”

“The Supreme Court has “never allowed the government to prohibit candidates from communicating relevant information to voters during an election.” Further stating that the gag order is a violation of the rights of 100 million Americans, writing, “The First Amendment does not permit the district court or the prosecution to micromanage President Trump’s campaign speech or dictate to him what forms of speech are “appropriate” for political debate.”

This is funny:

Meanwhile, Jack Smith can say anything he wants:


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