Of all current political figures, former President Donald Trump uses social media to make his voice heard the most. He posts almost daily, using not language common for press releases but his own words, and speaks clearly and to the point.
Regarding the multiple legal attacks against him, Trump has repeatedly stated that his actions are in line with the law. The indictment by Special Council Jack Smith in Washington, D.C. this week, and Trump’s visit to D.C. to court, prompted the former President to post a promise, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you”.
It started when news broke Friday night that Smith reacted to the Trump Truth social post by filing a request for a protective order, arguing Trump posts could have a chilling effect on witnesses, Mediate reports.
In the motion, Smith wrote:
All the proposed order seeks to prevent is the improper dissemination or use of discovery materials, including to the public. Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him. And in recent days, regarding this case, the defendant has issued multiple posts—either specifically or by implication—including the following, which the defendant posted just hours ago:
If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case.
If this seems reminiscent of the day of Jan 6, When Trump posted for his supporters to “go peacefully and make their voice heard,” well, yes. Thousands of social media posts are made every day with personal opinions and statements but Trump is singled out by Smith as being over the top, when viewers read the statement as Trump taking gloves off after the repeated attacks.
Althought the Trump campaign later defended the post and denied it was intended as a threat, claiming the message was for “the RINO, China-loving, dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth,” Smith went even further.
Mediate reported that Smith’s team included a proposed order for Federal District Judge Tanya Chutkan to sign if she approves it, which reads, in part:
The defendant and defense counsel shall not disclose the Materials or their contents directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense, persons who are interviewed as potential witnesses, counsel for potential witnesses, and other persons to whom the Court may authorize disclosure (collectively, “Authorized Persons”). Potential witnesses and their counsel may be shown copies of the Materials as necessary to prepare the defense, but they may not retain copies without prior permission of the Court.
On Saturday, Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered Trump’s team to file a response, as well as their own version of a proposed order. The judge wrote:
MINUTE ORDER as to DONALD J. TRUMP: It is hereby ORDERED that by 5:00 PM on August 7, 2023, Defendant shall file a response to the government’s 10 Motion for Protective Order, stating Defendant’s position on the Motion. If Defendant disagrees with any portion of the government’s proposed Protective Order, ECF No. 10-1, his response shall include a revised version of that Protective Order with any modifications in redline. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 08/05/2023
So who is this Judge that gives a court order for a defendant to defend a social media post with no profanity or specific wording as to a “threat”rather than a promise? Judge Chutkan is an Obama appointee and officially was selected “at random” to oversee the case. But Judge Chutkin is anything but objective.
Chutkan has presided over dozens of criminal cases against alleged January 6 rioters. CNN reported that She has been outspoken about the riot at several sentencing hearings – calling the violence an assault on American democracy and warning of future danger from political violence – and has repeatedly gone over what prosecutors have requested for convicted rioters’ prison sentences.
Chutkan has tacitly referenced Trump during criminal sentencings, saying to one rioter that he “did not go to the United States Capitol out of any love for our country. … He went for one man.”
During an October 4, 2021 sentencing hearing Chutkan rejected comparisons between the actions at the Capitol and the previous voilent protest around the country: “To compare the actions of people around the country protesting, mostly peacefully, for civil rights, to a violent mob seeking to overthrow the lawfully elected government is a false equivalency and downplays the very real danger that the crowd on January 6 posed to our democracy,” she said.
Trump is gearing up for a fight.