A Gag Order Could Mean Big Problems for Donald Trump: Former President Donald J. Trump’s attorneys are asking the presiding judge in the federal case against Trump for his alleged role in the January 6 riot to deny the prosecution’s request for a gag order. The gag order, or so the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor, Jack Smith argues, is limited.
Smith only wants to prevent Trump from speaking publicly about the case in order, as Smith claims, to preserve the integrity of the case.
The Donald Trump legal team argues that it is a naked attempt by the Biden Administration’s DOJ to silence the former president, who is running for reelection, thereby harming Trump’s legal and political interests.
The fact is that former President Donald Trump is more interested in trying the case in the court of public opinion than he is in an actual court of law. The reason is simple: Trump doesn’t think he can get a fair trial. Indeed, the prosecution is taking several steps that make it seem like they are manipulating the process in their favor.
Boxing Donald Trump In
For example, the prosecution previously sought to prevent the Trump legal team from polling possible jurors about their general understanding and opinion on the case at hand. These polls are conducted on the population of a given area to assist with gauging how fair a possible jury pool could be.
Since the January 6 case is being tried in a Washington, D.C.-based court, and the possible jurors would be pulled from the population of the nation’s capital, any official poll would find that the Trump side is not going to get a fair trial.
In fact, the verdict is likely already baked into court proceedings, considering that 92 percent of all Washington, D.C. residents who voted in 2020 voted for Joe Biden.
In effect, the only way that Trump can possibly get a fair trial in the January 6 case is if he takes his case to the public.
Even then, given how skewed against him the possible jury pool is, Trump is likely fighting a losing battle here. The only upside for Trump is that, if he does become the president again in 2024, he could pardon himself from this specific case (since a president can pardon anyone convicted of a federal crime).
And each time Trump talks about his legal troubles in the public, Trump’s support among likely Republican voters skyrockets. In the next election, if Trump is again the Republican Party’s presidential nominee against President Joe Biden, the election will be decided at the margins.
It will be determined by how many more of either party’s base voters show up at the polls and how many fence-sitting independents come down for either man in the final stretches of the campaign. The battle of narratives will be critical.
Trump’s Narrative is Powerful
Trump’s narrative is simple and to-the-point: he is being politically persecuted by a corrupted DOJ and a Democratic Party rival who cannot afford to face him in a fair election. Trump has, in fact, crafted a meta-narrative—that his enemies have inadvertently helped him to craft—in which the Faceless Men and women of the Deep State conspire in their darkened corners of the nation’s capital to use the power of the law, of the intelligence services, and of the media to crush Donald Trump’s political chances.
All this, according to the narrative, is done because Trump is the gravest threat to the corrupt system in Washington, D.C. in decades.
It all started with the factually false Russia collusion investigation undertaken by former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Things shifted into the ridiculous attempt to impeach Trump for a perfectly normal phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart in 2019, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Then came the Trumpian theory that the 2020 Presidential Election was stolen by vicious partisans who had been loosed upon an undefended open election process, thereby granting “Sleepy” Joe Biden victory over the “very stable genius” Donald Trump.
Now, Trump’s enemies are again helping to goose Donald Trump’s meta-narrative along with these obviously politicized court proceedings.
Whether accurate or not, Trump’s meta-narrative—and his commitment to that storyline—has created the perception of reality among many likely voters in 2024. Trump as the persecuted savior of a dying republic is a far more compelling narrative when matched against the Great American “Okie-Doke” that “Sleepy” Joe Biden is trying to sell.
Yet again, Trump’s “Deep State” rivals are playing into his hands by trying to silence him in the press.
Donald Trump should not be prevented from speaking his mind in the court of public opinion. Given how often he puts his foot in his mouth, it might redound to the benefit of the prosecution.
But the fact that these Trump trials are politicized by his rivals means that the prosecution cannot afford to have those truths revealed to an unaware public. The presiding judge in this case is an Obama appointee.
It is probable that Trump will be made to endure a limited gag order.
Donald Trump Shouldn’t Have Run in 2024
That, according to Trump’s legal team, is a telltale sign that the prosecution is creating a “perjury trap”. If Trump and his legal team fall into such a trap by speaking out-of-turn about the case, then they’d be in much greater legal trouble than Trump currently is.
At the same time, though, if Trump follows the best legal advice—which is to keep his mouth shut—then he might be doomed both legally and politically, meaning he’ll never be able to pardon himself from this politicized, predetermined trial.
Things would have been much better for everyone had Trump simply opted not to run for president again.
Alas, Donald Trump’s ego is such that he would rather put the country through the chaos it is currently experiencing rather than leave well-enough-alone.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
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