In a thirty-seven-page-long filing, the legal team defending former President Donald J. Trump eviscerated the meager defense of Judge Tanya Chutkan’s gag order attempted by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team of prosecutors.
In the brutally worded legal brief, the Trump team said the argument presented “fails at every step,” violating “a long list of the First Amendment’s most basic doctrines,” and would “flunk first-grade math.”
The Trump legal team cited thirty-three different cases with precedents dating back as far as 1959.
Beginning the systematic takedown of the patently unconstitutional order Trump’s attorneys wrote:
“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.”
As reported by The Daily Caller, the filing accuses Smith’s team of relying upon “hearsay media reports as a substitute for evidence,” noting that this only serves to emphasize the “glaring evidentiary gaps in its case.”
The attorneys for Trump explained the failure of the gag order at “every step,” telling the court: “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.”
In the argument phase of the filing Trump’s team denotes that “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.”
Damningly the added,
“The prosecution’s objection to this post is a naked attempt to muzzle public criticism of itself.”
This came of course after Trump “asserted that one of [the prosecutors]… had gone to the White House for an improper purpose,” and “repeatedly called the prosecutors handling the case ‘deranged,’ ‘thugs,’ and ‘lunatics.’”
They observed that the argument in favor of the gag order suffers “from other yawning logical gaps.” The defense of the gag order by Smith’s team of prosecutors “relies heavily on a parallel gag order entered in New York court, which has now been stayed pending appeal,” they wrote in reference to Trump’s ongoing trial in New York and the gag order from Judge Arthur Engoron that was recently stayed as covered by Trending Politics.
They add, “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.”
Finally, the team observed, “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.”