Donald Trump is being smothered by legal crises. Having been indicted on a combined 91 felony charges, the former president is weathering that storm even as he attempts to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2024. But the pathway forward for Trump is fraught with danger.
In some of the cases, his freedom is on the line, to say nothing of his political future. And, there is some evidence to suggest that at least some of the charges being lobbed at the forty-fifth president are political in nature and designed to stymie Trump from winning reelection.
Just when things looked even bleaker than they were for the former president, an unexpected ally has come in from the shadows. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was one of Trump’s most visceral foes throughout his time in the White House. Now, the Left-leaning organization is rushing to his defense.
In the course of one of the many federal trials that Trump is going through, the Washington, D.C.-based trial of Trump over allegations that he attempted to launch an insurrection on January 6, 2021, the presiding judge opted to institute a gag order on Trump. The reason the judge gave was because the former president was supposedly engaged in witness tampering.
He has made disparaging comments about the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Army General Mark Milley (ret.) and former Vice-President Mike Pence. According to the federal prosecutors in the case, given Trump’s large platform, Trump was attempting to intimidate possible witnesses.
The judge sided with the prosecution and granted them a gag order on Trump.
Yet, the ACLU believes that this is a violation of the First Amendment rights of Trump. Because Trump is such an important figure to our politics, the ACLU has advised the presiding judge in the January 6 case to restrain herself in stopping Trump from commenting in public about his trial.
An Unconstitutional Gag Order on Donald Trump
The ACLU believes that the gag order is too wide-ranging and, given that Trump is a public figure running for the highest office in the land, the ACLU argues that it is unfair and an abuse of power by the court to stunt Trump’s First Amendment rights.
Trump’s gag order is so wide-ranging that it could be retroactively applied. Basically, it’s so open-ended that Trump might not know he’s violated it until the prosecution accuses him of it.
And he could face serious penalties if he’s found to have violated the gag order.
Left unsaid, however, is the fact that this is the precise goal of the open-ended gag order. The Democrats cannot defeat Trump at the ballot box. He’s dominating with key swing state voters as President Joe Biden’s favorability rating is plummeting. The world is collapsing under Biden’s leadership, making Trump’s possible return to the White House all the more appealing.
The Left Wages Lawfare
The only way for the Left to stop Trump, then, is to stymie his political revival by going after him with lawfare.
That’s what they’re doing—and it’s going to plague him for the remainder of his time in politics. The ACLU is right: the gag order is unfair and too open-ended. If this is a legitimate gag order, then, the court must redefine that which Trump is disallowed from publicly commenting on and grant Trump some grace.
Of course, they won’t. And that’s a crying shame for our country which has prided itself on the concept that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. That is, except for Donald Trump, who has simply threatened the status quo in Washington, D.C. for too long.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor and an energy analyst at the The-Pipeline, 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. He writes opinion pieces for this publication.
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