Jack Smith defends censorship of Trump in appeals court

November 21, 2023

Jack Smith defended his evil ploy to silence President Trump in a Washington D.C. appeals court Monday. 

A panel of three judges - two appointed by Obama, one by Biden - sounded skeptical of Smith's demands to be completely shielded from criticism, with one judge suggesting Smith has enough "thick skin" to withstand Trump's sharp rhetoric.

Biden's prosecutor doubled down on his dramatic claim that a gag order is needed to protect the "integrity" of Trump's "election subversion" trial, which is set to begin in March.

Smith defends gag order

At Monday's hearing, Smith representative Cecil VanDevender doubled down on the claim that rhetoric attacking Smith - who Trump has labeled a "deranged" partisan hack - and others involved in the case poses "a significant and immediate risk to the fairness and integrity of these proceedings."

“The order that the district court crafted to address those risks should be affirmed,” he added.

Smith has routinely given minimal consideration to Trump's status as a presidential candidate and his First Amendment rights.

But government officials like Smith must have a "thick skin" and Trump cannot be expected to be "Miss Manners" in the political arena, the judges said.

They questioned the scope of Smith's order, which prevents Trump from criticizing Smith, for a "very troubling lack of balance" concerning free speech.

"Why can't the defendant say ABC — whoever is the prosecutorial team — is biased?" Judge Patricia Millett asked.

Core political speech

Throughout the hearing, the judges tried to puzzle out a "balance" where Trump's free speech could be protected without impairing the supposed integrity of the trial, which Trump has labeled a political witch hunt.

Judge Millett questioned whether all of Trump's political rhetoric should be classified as such, or if some of it is "aimed at derailing or corrupting the criminal justice process."

Trump's lawyer John Sauer pushed back, noting the case is "inextricably entwined" with "the issues that are being publicly debated in the context of the campaign.”

The gag order attempts to silence Trump's "core political speech" on the basis of a spurious notion that it "might someday inspire some random third party to engage" in violence, Sauer said.

District court judge Tanya Chutkan imposed the sweeping gag order, which is on hold while the appeal plays out.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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