Legal experts doubtful judges will get away with muzzling Trump

August 28, 2023

Experts on both sides of the political aisle are skeptical that judges will be able to enforce restrictions on President Trump's free speech as he battles unprecedented criminal charges.

Even liberal rag The Washington Post published a report filled with cautionary notes for their Trump-hating readership - warning it might be "tricky — perhaps impossible" to control what Trump says about the witch hunt, given the unprecedented circumstances.

Trump's free speech

Trump has been warned not to attack prosecutors or witnesses - including his former vice president Mike Pence, who is running against Trump in the Republican primary.

Such conflicts are inevitable in a criminal case that is "steeped in politics," Kenneth White, a former federal prosecutor in California, told the Post.

Trump "has the best imaginable First Amendment case for talking about the charges against him, the evidence against him, the witnesses against him,” White added.

Like any citizen, Trump enjoys First Amendment rights - and he is also a presidential candidate. The extraordinary sensitivity of the situation means judges will have to tread lightly.

“Trump of course is in a unique situation and he can, as a candidate, rail against the prosecution generally and he will not be sanctioned,” Nova Southeastern University Law Center Bruce Rogow told the Daily Caller. 

"Win-win"

The far-left, Washington D.C. judge overseeing one of Trump's cases, Tanya Chutkan, dismissed Trump's First Amendment claims at an August 11 hearing, imperiously declaring that Trump's rights must give way to the "orderly administration of justice."

But Trump's team believes the judges won't "risk the blowback of imposing sanctions on a major-party candidate," the Post reported.

Left-wing lawfare expert Barbara McQuade agrees, calling the situation a "win-win" for Trump - either he attacks the process without being penalized, or "if he is jailed, he can portray himself as a victim of persecution."

Show trial

Even if Trump is permitted to speak freely in his own defense, the trials are costing Trump huge sums in legal fees and are certain to interfere with his ability to campaign.

Passions flared at a hearing Monday where Chutkan set a trial date for March 4 - the very day before Super Tuesday.

Prosecutors in Biden's Justice Department said the show trial should move ahead with all speed, citing Trump's comments attacking the process.

Trump, they said, "has publicly disparaged witnesses.....He has attacked the integrity of the courts, the citizens of the District of Columbia that make up our jury pool, and this potentially prejudices the jury."

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