Author Topic: Jonathan Turley: Jack Smith goes too far in trying to gag Donald Trump  (Read 369 times)

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 Jack Smith goes too far in trying to gag Donald Trump
By Jonathan Turley   
Published Sep. 16, 2023, 1:48 p.m. ET

Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”

After Friday night, we can add nine more: “a narrowly tailored order that imposes modest, permissible restrictions.”

Those words were used by Special Counsel Jack Smith to propose a gag order that would sharply curtail the ability of former President Donald Trump to criticize Smith and his prosecution.

The Smith motion is anything but “narrowly tailored.”

Indeed, short of a mobile “Get Smart” Cone of Silence, it is chilling to think of what Smith considered the broader option.

Smith told District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., that Trump could “present a serious and substantial danger of prejudicing” his 2020 federal election interference case.

Smith compared Trump’s comments on the trial to the “disinformation” spread by Trump after the 2020 election — the subject of the indictment.

The motion states that Trump’s “recent extrajudicial statements are intended to undermine public confidence in an institution — the judicial system — and to undermine confidence in and intimidate individuals — the Court, the jury pool, witnesses, and prosecutors.”

I have long criticized Trump’s inflammatory comments over these cases, but Smith’s solution veers dangerously into core political speech in the middle of a presidential election.

Ironically, Smith’s move will likely be seen as reinforcing Trump’s claim of intentional election interference by the Biden Administration.

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