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May 1, 2024

(Note:  from now on, as part of our stylebook, we’re placing the words “Special Counsel” in quotation marks whenever they precede Jack Smith’s name, as Smith never actually went through the Senate confirmation process and is not a real, authentic special counsel.)

If anything illustrates that the lawfare against President Trump was intended from the start as a way to interfere with the 2024 election, it’s the reaction by his opponents in the legal community to recent delays and challenges.  Other than the “classified documents” case with wild-card Florida Judge Aileen Cannon, they surely assumed the other cases, at least, would be a slam-dunk in the deep-blue venues of DC, Manhattan and Atlanta.  And all they needed was one conviction.

As Julie Kelly reported in her update Tuesday, Laura Jarrett of NBC tried to put a positive face on the story after oral arguments before SCOTUS on presidential immunity --- which could derail both of Jack Smith’s cases --- but Trump antagonists were disturbed by how the session went.  For days afterwards, legal analyst Laurence Tribe went even more out of his bean than he usually is, accusing Justice Sam Alito of “living in a MAGA world.”

Tribe couldn’t stand it that Alito had dared to dismiss the DOJ’s claims that, in Kelly’s words, “built-in protections such as the grand jury system (LOL) and accountable prosecutors and attorneys general (double LOL) would prevent a successor from vindictively prosecuting his Oval Office predecessor in the future.”  Seems to us that the DOJ itself has presented the best argument for skepticism on that score.

The reaction of dismay coming from the “progressive” left was predictable.  But something else in Kelly’s report, mentioned almost in passing, caught us up short:  that NBC correspondent Laura JARRETT happens to be the daughter of powerful Obama proxy Valerie Jarrett.  Let that sink in.  We looked it up --- as we don’t watch NBC NEWS --- and sure enough, Valerie Jarrett’s daughter is indeed working there as senior legal correspondent, covering the Supreme Court and Department of “Justice.”  Before this, she spent six years doing essentially the same thing at CNN.  According to this article in the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER published in November 2022, when she went to NBC, some of the cases she covered were “the Supreme Court’s decision overruling Roe v. Wade, the Congressional investigations into January 6th, the investigations into former President Trump, and the legal battles over COVID-19 mandates.”  Other stories she was on: “Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, former President Trump’s travel ban and family separation policy, the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified material, and more.”

Oh, but there’s one teeeeny little thing this article leaves out --- we read it twice to make sure we hadn’t missed it --- and you can probably guess what it is.  Um, that would be the fact that their new senior legal correspondent, set to cover all the upcoming politically-charged legal cases before the election, is the daughter of Valerie Jarrett.

Anyway, for the past week, we’ve focused on the escalating problems with “Special Counsel” Jack Smith’s cases against Donald Trump, both the J6 case and the “classified documents” case.  He’s got big challenges on both fronts that we’ve already outlined in detail.  Some level of presidential immunity will probably be determined, and a trove of newly-released documents, including the unredacted search warrant for Mar-A-Lago, strongly suggests a set-up and collusion among the Biden White House, DOJ and National Archives (We’ll have a major update on that tomorrow.) And it’s obvious now that President Biden faces no legal repercussions for having classified documents here, there and everywhere.

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s “falsified business records” case is so precarious right now, Judge Merchan is probably thinking he’d better get Trump jailed on that gag order violation if he can, as it might be all he’ll be able to give the prosecution.  This judge has made it clear in court that Trump is risking jail time, simply by speaking up for himself as he sees fit.  It’s apparent now:  the real reason for timing the case as he did was to take him off the campaign trail and also, ideally, to somehow get him into jail, even just for a day, in the months before the election.  This is the hope that “progressive” legal analysts are clinging to.

Kelly’s full report will bring you up to date on these cases, and it’s encouraging.

“They [prosecutors] weren’t asking for jail time,” said law professor Jonathan Turley on FOX NEWS.  “The threat is lingering out there that the Judge wanted to put this Damocles Sword dangling over his head.  It’s there, and the thread is getting thinner...I don’t think the judge has re-examined his [gag] order.  I think it’s poorly written, and I also think it’s way too broad.  And the inclusion of Michael Cohen in that order is absurd.”

Turley meant this in light of news that convicted felon/serial perjurer/disbarred attorney Cohen, who has yet to appear as “star witness,” is monetizing his role in the meantime by making nightly TikTok video livestreams trashing President Trump.  There’s no gag order on HIM; he gets to say essentially anything he wants to.  (Example of the triteness: “Donald Trump has shown acts of generosity, but he’s not a generous person.” Doesn’t the first clause negate the second?)  But according to Judge Merchan’s gag order, Trump, THE DEFENDANT, cannot respond to Cohen’s personal jabs without being in violation and risking more fines and even jail time.  Gag orders, when used as intended, are supposed to protect the rights of defendants, not undermine them.

“I mean,” Turley continued, “you have someone who is making money campaigning against Trump and attacking him on this trial, and the judge is letting him speak but not for the President to respond.”

Mike Davis, founder of the Article III Project, appeared on FOX NEWS with Laura Ingraham Tuesday night to clarify that “gag orders are supposed to protect criminal defendants.  They are limited --- time, place and manner restriction on free speech rights --- to ensure that a criminal defendant, not the government, gets a fair trial.  What this Judge Merchan has done is turn the Constitution on its head by illegally, unconstitutionally gagging a criminal defendant.  And if anyone in America needs the constitutional right to speak out against the judge, the prosecutor, their staffs, the witnesses, their biases in the process, it is a criminal defendant going through a criminal trial.”

In a couple of other Tuesday updates on this ludicrous trial, Judge Marchan graciously deigned to allow a former President of the United States to attend his son’s high school graduation…

And Matt Margolis at PJ Media points out that in allowing DA Alvin Bragg to drag in salacious stories tarring Trump that are unrelated to the case at hand, he might have inadvertently set up the same grounds for throwing out any conviction on appeal that just resulted in Harvey Weinstein’s New York conviction being overturned. Lesson for other judges: Even defendants you don’t like personally have Constitutional rights.



Finally, Trump-haters who are still salivating like Pavlov’s dog at the thought of President Trump being tossed into the slammer might want to be careful what they wish for.

Professional persuader and bestselling author Scott Adams says that if Trump is put in jail, even for one day --- one hour --- it will “destroy the social contract.”  All bets will be off.

Similarly, as reported in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, legal experts have warned that “a threatened jail term by the judge could lead to widespread upheaval.”  Reporters spoke to a number of analysts, including corporate general counsel Alton Harmon, who said, “Judge Merchan is operating within his discretion, but I think he would be an automaton if he didn’t appreciate that the world is watching him and how any imprisonment would be viewed by most as true election interference...”

The last thing our country needs this summer is more civil unrest, but recent polls show that over half the country --- far beyond what pundits condescendingly refer to as Trump’s “base” --- can see this lawfare for what it is.  In a new Harvard/Harris poll, 57% of Americans see the prosecutions of Trump as Democrat lawfare to kneecap their political opponent. Only 43% believe that they are fair and apolitical. These people are either willfully ignorant or regular MSNBC viewers, or as is often the case, both.

But for alleged “experts” to claim they think otherwise is an insult to our intelligence.  Millions of Americans have had just about enough of the abuse of our legal system and no longer trust it at all.  So we have both long- and short-term reasons for hoping these cases fall apart before overzealous prosecutors can put Trump behind bars.

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