Special Counsel Jack Smith filed a motion on Friday that, if granted, would effectively bar President Donald Trump from criticizing him, President Joe Biden, and other deep state bureaucrats for their hyperpartisan prosecution of his First Amendment right to claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
“Through his statements, the defendant threatens to undermine the integrity of these proceedings and prejudice the jury pool, in contravention of the ‘undeviating rule’ that in our justice system a jury’s verdict is to ‘be induced only by evidence and argument in open court, and not by any outside influence,’” Smith wrote in the motion to D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan.
Under Smith’s proposal, chatter about the high-profile case would be legal for everyone, including President Joe Biden, but not Trump himself. The jury pool, judges, and others involved would hear campaign commentary from corporate media and Biden about the case. They would not, however, be privy to any takes from Trump, whose primary campaign strategy thus far is to repeatedly call attention to the weaponization of the federal government.
Smith paints his radical demands for Trump’s muzzling as “modest, permissible restrictions” that might be applied in any routine federal criminal case. This, however, is no routine case. It’s a partisan indictment led by bureaucrats handpicked by Trump’s Democrat replacement and 2024 rival that has quickly become one of the most egregious examples of sweeping state abuse this nation has ever seen.
Even corporate media like the Washington Post acknowledge Smith’s latest attempt to criminalize political speech and make criticism into defamation amounts to election interference in an already “legally flawed” and “unwise” indictment.
If Chutkan grants Smith’s request for a sweeping gag order, she will be endorsing the silencing of not just the former leader of the free world but also the Biden administration’s top political rival — a current presidential candidate.
Chutkan has yet to rule on Smith’s motion but her previous pronouncement regarding Trump’s case inspires no confidence that the Republican’s First Amendment rights will be considered or protected.
“Mr. Trump, like every American, has a First Amendment right to free speech. But that right is not absolute,” Chutkan said during proceedings in August. “In a criminal case such as this one, the defendant’s free speech is subject to the rules.”
Chutkan’s declaration that “I cannot and I will not factor into my decisions how it will factor into a political campaign” also seems to suggest means she doesn’t care about the political implications of handicapping the speech of a man who is in the middle of an election cycle.
“What the defendant is currently doing — the fact that he’s running a political campaign has to yield to the orderly administration of justice. If that means he can’t say exactly what he wants to say about witnesses in this case, that’s how it has to be,” the Obama appointee concluded.
Smith’s motion and Chutkan’s comments only confirm Americans’ fears that the Department of Justice is corrupt, weaponizes itself against its citizens for political purposes, and wants to capitalize on the left’s 2020 censorship campaign.
A large majority of Americans believe the U.S. has a two-tiered system of justice. Another 56 percent recognize the Trump indictments as “interference by the Department of Justice in the 2024 election” instead of a “fair application of the law.”
The incumbent administration grasping at the First Amendment rights of the leading presidential candidate to shut him up is a perfect example of the abuse of power and political hit jobs Americans worry about.