Thanksgiving came early this year for Trumpty Dumpty. Oh yes, he’s having a jubilant day. He’s kicking up his heels. Word came down a short while ago from the appellate court that Trump’s gag order in New York has been lifted and so he gets to run his mouth. He immediately took to Truth Social (which then reposted to Twitter/X) and danced all around.
And did he repost Breitbart or Mark Levin’s version of the story? Oh, hell no. He reposted the top of the line story, the Associated Press. Don’t think that didn’t tickle his orange hue into a shade of pink. Now he’s grapefruit colored. And he’s not the only one dancing. Alina Habba is thrilled as well. “I’m free,” Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba joked to reporters following Thursday’s order. “We’ve seen this now time and time again where judges overreach and take a Constitutionally-protected right to free speech — and political speech is even more protected — and gag him and his lawyers,” Habba continued.
So Trump and his coterie are taking this as a big win. They’re quite pleased. And that makes sense. To them, this is all about publicity and this is a short term win that looks good. Where things go from here may not look so good. Bottom line, now a full panel of judges will weigh Trump’s appeal of what his lawyer, Christopher Kise, on Thursday argued was “prior restraint on political speech by a front-running presidential candidate.” Good. And what might that look like? I think they’re going to hang themselves, all of them, Trump, his lawyers, the whole clan. At least that’s the direction things are going. NBC News:
Trump attorney Jesus Suarez declined comment on the gag order after court Thursday. Another Trump lawyer, Alina Habba, told The Associated Press at the Appellate Division courthouse that she would not be advising Trump to keep quiet about the clerk.
“I don’t see a reason for restrictions because Ms. James is continuing to disparage my client,” she said, referring to New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the fraud case against Trump and his company. “Both sides need to be able to speak.”
Trump was also hit with a gag order in the federal criminal election interference case against him, which barred him from making statements about potential witnesses or disparaging comments about the prosecutors, court staff or support personnel. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who’s presiding over that case, briefly lifted the order last month pending Trump’s appeal on constitutional grounds, but eventually put it back in place.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., will hear arguments Monday on Trump’s appeal in the federal case.
Now here’s an important point, mark this one well: Witness tampering is a chargeable crime, gag orders, free speech considerations, all that to the contrary. And Trump may just continue to do it, bigly, now that he thinks he’s got free rein from the legal system to run amok. And that is clearly how he’s interpreting today’s legal decision.
Trump is going to keep bloviating and causing no end of grief. That’s who he is. The question now, and always, is: will somebody get hurt? We don’t know. We do know that Judge Engoron’s court clerk now has a target on her back, much as the two election workers in Georgia had targets slapped on theirs, by boozy blowhard Rudy Giuliani. And that eventually devolved to their favor. So perhaps this will as well.
New case law is going on the books all the time. This case may be some landmark ruling or it may go up the ladder to a landmark ruling. As usual, Trump takes the cultural pot to the tipping point. The bigger they are the harder they fall. It took a while for George Santos to get cornered, but it happened. Trump’s time is coming and it’s not going to be that long from now.