Things got a little heated yesterday in the Washington D.C. Court of appeals when the Orangeutan’s slippery mouthpiece John Sauer stonewalled the court and refused to give a straight answer to a hypothetical question posed by Judge Patricia Millett seeking to define what, if any, boundaries Sauer would consider appropriate regarding Trump’s obdurate attempts to interfere with witnesses in his trial for attempting to overturn the 2020 election by dispatching a violent mob against the Capitol.

“Sauer argued that the terms of the gag order, first imposed by District Judge Tanya Chutkan, went overbroad and were a violation of the former president’s constitutional rights, claiming that Trump’s arguments did not constitute a “clear and present danger.”

But Millett challenged Sauer, saying that under case law there is a distinction between participants and outsiders, and wouldn’t the former have a stronger standard? Sauer danced around the question, and a frustrated Millett said, “You can’t give me anything.”

She then pointed out that even stipulating to Sauer’s view, there is extensive Supreme Court law saying that, “Clear and present danger isn’t meant to be a mechanical process, it’s a balancing test” between the defendant’s rights and the risks of their conduct.

Later in the questioning, Pillard asked Sauer to distinguish whether, if it’s permissible to punish Trump from calling a witness on the phone and telling them, “I know you’re a patriot, and patriots don’t talk to prosecutors,” it would be permissible to punish Trump for saying the exact same thing on social media or at a public rally.

Sauer dodged the question, insisting that Trump had not said any such thing, even as Pillard clarified that “it’s a hypothetical!”

He never did answer her question.

Former Obama solicitor general Neal Katyal and Bob Mueller wingman Andrew Weissmann think they are on to the game Sauer is playing and Katyal predicts limited success for the appeal.

“Katyal, who previously served as acting solicitor general for President Barack Obama, explained that he was constantly thinking throughout the hearing: “Mr. Trump’s lawyer, answer the question, answer the question.”

He explained that Judge Pillard spent 20 minutes just trying to get a single answer out of him, which is one of many reasons the arguments went beyond the typical 40-minute mark, lasting nearly two and a half hours. Katyal explained that such a timeline isn’t unheard of for that court because all of their cases end up being long, as the judges dive deep into the legal discussions.

As for Sauer, “he could not answer them,” Katyal said. “Trump’s lawyer basically took this kind of ‘go home or big’ approach, and he is going home, basically, at the end of this.”

But it was left to Weissmann on this panel discussion to really put this nut in its shell:

“If you think you are going to lose, and this proceeding is essentially stonewall here,” she said. “So, that there is no concessions that can be latched to go on to. But to give an example of what Neal is talking about in terms of the question that the court had that was really legitimate was to say, look, it’s a given that every defendant, when they are released, they are told do not commit a crime. That includes: Do not threaten a witness. That’s not a gag order. That’s just — you can’t commit a criminal act while on bail.”

Katyal thinks the court may trim at the edges of the gag order but nothing much beyond that.

Here’s the video:

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  1. Seems to me like Team Trump was using the NY playbook of pissing off the judge during the appeal hearing. I hope that lawyer trusted Trump, as in NOT getting a big fat retainer upfront because he did exactly what Trump told him to do. And as a result Trump will lose his appeal. The only question is whether when the appeals court hands down a decision that at most trims a bit around the edges of the gag order it goes back into force – or is left in place while Trump appeals to SCOTUS. Chief Justice Roberts is the Justice who would make the call on that as he’s the one who oversees matters coming up from the DC Court of Appeals. He can keep the stay in place pending a decision on whether the rest of SCOTUS will hear the case or allow it to go back into force. Here’s the “fun” part – when he consults with the other Justices will they pass entirely and leave the final decision to whatever the DC court of appeals decides. I’d love to see the look on Trump’s face if (and it’s quite possible) SCOTUS decides they don’t want any part of this.

    • So far they have declined to hear almost all of Trump’s emergency cases. IKEA They don’t like setting that sort of precedent. After all,once Clarence and Sammy croak from a stroke brought on by an excess of arrogance and anger,it could easily be overturned.

  2. I wonder if any of these aholes fear for THEIR lives if they enable a fascist takeover? Titles, robes, yada yada yada means NOTHING to a bullet. VOTE!

  3. The judge was using words that were too large for the former guy’s lawyers. “Hypothetical”? Five syllables for crying out loud. Or maybe Sauer thinks the playing stupid strategy is a winning one despite the fact it is not for the j-6 insurrectionists. As for the patriots don’t talk threat-much of what the mango moron has tweeted has been so similar to that I am kind of surprised the judge did not slap Sauer upside the head with examples.

  4. Trump and his lawyer, by aggravatingly strutting about in front of these three judges, have only delivered a pantomime that, at best, is hollow and devoid of any substance. Whilst, during their contrived shadow boxing exercise, they uselessly set course and flew too close to the centre of this legal sun, thinking they can hoodwink and game the judges. Not!

  5. Let’s face facts…the privileged justices care more about themselves than equal justice. Having been led out of a courtroom in leg irons and handcuffs, having threatened NO ONE , loaded into a van with murderers, all because I had no job and no money, while this howler monkey is loose, is a lesson in civics in America, land of institutionalized hypocrisy. All you ‘nice’ people who still believe in the system are grossly naive in your state of being comfortably numb. Besides, the only gag order to work with orangebob shitpants is a rubber ball jammed in his mouth with a tight strap to keep it there. Or jail…neither of which is going to happen.


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