SurrealPolitiks S01E030 - Gag Me, Daddy

SurrealPolitiks S01E030 – Gag Me, Daddy

SurrealPolitiks - Realpolitik in an Unreal World
SurrealPolitiks S01E030 - Gag Me, Daddy

Donald Trump was hit today with a gag order in his federal case pertaining to his effort to see the will of the voter upheld in 2020. The gag order will bar Trump and others “from making any public statements targeting special counsel Jack Smith and his staff, as well as court personnel” according to the Associated Press. A written ruling has not been issued at the time of this writing, but is expected soon. The Judge issued the order orally at a hearing, during which Trump himself was not present.

This order is more sweeping that the gag order imposed on his New York fraud trial (which I mean in both the sense that it is a fraud and that is what he is accused of) wherein he is barred from targeting the staff of the Judge in that case. Here, the President is barred from “targeting” (whatever that means) the maniac prosecutor who is an attack dog for his political opponent.

Smith sought a more expansive order which would prohibit “disparaging and inflammatory or intimidating statements about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors.” This was done under the claim that Trump’s social media posts were intended “to undermine confidence in the criminal justice system and prejudice the jury pool through disparaging and inflammatory attacks,”.

Of course, undermining faith in the criminal justice system is not exactly a heavy lift these days, and all the less so for Trump. If these people were so concerned about their credibility, perhaps they should be more cautious about their lies. Undermining faith in the Court system is evidently the purpose of people like Mr. Smith, and Roberta Kaplan, who are, at base, anarchists trying to wreck civilization entirely, and who are only using the levers of State power to do so because they are personally weak and lack the physical strength to do it with their own hands.

The order presents an interesting opportunity for Trump if he cares to gamble. There is a reasonable expectation that he will appeal the order, and a decidedly non-zero chance that he will prevail in some part.

If Trump continues to criticize Jack Smith, Smith will move the Court to sanction Trump in some way, and the Court will be rather limited in its enforcement options. They can fine Trump, but he’s spending your money anyway, and Trump can just refuse to pay, counting on an appellate victory. They cannot impose adverse inferences because this is a criminal case and not a civil one.

Are they going to lock him up? Are they going to put him in a Communications Management Unit if they do? Of course, you can put nothing past these people, but this would be quite the escalation of the conflict.

He could call their bluff, and while the outcome of this would be anything but certain, it would certainly serve to undermine credibility in Smith and in the Court.

It would also place extreme pressure on the Supreme Court to vacate the order. The Supreme Court can refuse to take a case, but good luck doing that if Trump is incarcerated.

Roberts was reported to have echoed concern that “there will be riots” when deliberating the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case overturning Roe v. Wade. He is conscious of the potential for public backlash and it impacts his rulings.

It is not seriously in dispute whether the case is politically motivated, and the Court can expect to hear an appeal of his conviction and sentence when the case is over. If they mean to uphold that conviction, they’ll be inclined to bargain on the gag order so as to appear that they are not out to get the man who appointed them.

Trump is in no danger of losing the Republican Primary. It is too late for a dark horse. He has teams of people handling his affairs 24/7, and if he has to sit in solitary for two weeks, all that needs doing will still get done. Republicans insufficiently loyal will make fools of themselves during the time he is locked away. His opponents will be seen celebrating his incarceration and making themselves look like monsters.

And in short order he will be released. He will claim victory. He will be lauded by his supporters.  He will continue to attack Jack Smith and there will be nothing anybody can do about it.

He’ll still be looking at prison when all is said and done, but at this point Trump cannot choose to be safe.

Only powerful.


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