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Trump Moves to Return to Twitter and Facebook After Being Banned Over Risk of ‘Incitement of Violence’ and to Public Safety

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At 8:36 PM on January 6, 2021, Facebook publicly announced it was imposing a 24-hour block on then-President Donald Trump, following the deadly riot and insurrection on Capitol Hill. The following day Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, citing the “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government,” announced the social media giant had banned Trump “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

On January 8, 2021, Twitter announced its permanent suspension of Donald Trump’s account, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” after the January 6 insurrection. Citing two tweets earlier that day, Twitter “determined that they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

The company found the tweets “are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.”

READ MORE: ‘Next Chapter?’ Manhattan DA Signals Trump Himself Might Finally Land Under Indictment

Two years later Donald Trump is preparing to return to both social media platforms, according to NBC News.

Several factors are responsible.

Over at Facebook, its Oversight Board decided in June of 2021 Trump’s suspension would be in place for just two years, starting in January of 2021, but also appeared to make clear the suspension would be lifted after that time, although its stated it would “look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.”

“When the suspension is eventually lifted,” Facebook’s Oversight Board said at the time, making clear the suspension would be lifted “when,” and not “if,” “there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”

The company has not yet made any decision public, but is expected to do so soon.

And at Twitter, Elon Musk purchased the company and reinstated numerous far right wing accounts, including Trump’s.

Trump has repeatedly stated he would not return to Twitter after starting his own social media platform. Truth Social pales in comparison to both Twitter and Facebook.

READ MORE: ‘First Man on the Moon’: Internet Explodes in Laughter and Anger as George Santos Lands Seat on Committee Overseeing NASA

“With access to his Twitter account back,” NBC News reports, “Trump’s campaign is formally petitioning Facebook’s parent company to unblock his account there after it was locked in response to the U.S. Capitol riot two years ago.”

The Trump campaign is urging Meta, Facebook’s parent company, to allow him to return.

“’We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,’ Trump’s campaign wrote in its letter to Meta on Tuesday, according to a copy reviewed by NBC News.”

Tech Policy Press editor Justin Hendrix notes the letter to Meta comes on the “Same day a J6 Committee draft report detailed how he used social media to incite an insurrection.”

RELATED: Unpublished J6 Report Reveals Social Media Companies Allowed Right-Wing Activists to ‘Exploit’ Platforms in Weeks Before Attack

Meta says it “will announce a decision in the coming weeks in line with the process we laid out.”

NBC News, citing two anonymous Trump confidantes, reports, “Trump has sought input for weeks about hopping back on Twitter and that his campaign advisers have also workshopped ideas for his first tweet.”

Another, a Trump advisor, warned if the Facebook ban on Trump is extended,  House Republicans will pressure Meta. NBC’s reporting suggests they would use hearings on how federal law treats social media platforms as “leverage.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and two other colleagues sent Meta a letter urging the ban be extended.

“Trump has continued to post harmful election content on Truth Social that would likely violate Facebook’s policies, and we have every reason to believe he would bring similar conspiratorial rhetoric back to Facebook, if given the chance,” they wrote.

AFP’s White House correspondent Sebastian Smith suggests it is, “Worth remembering Trump was thrown off FBook and Twitter because those platforms were his principle avenues for deluding an enormous part of the country into believing that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’.”

Noah Bookbinder, the president of the government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), posted this warning: “Donald Trump tried to overturn a free and fair election that he lost and incited a violent insurrection to try to keep himself in power. That he would be given back the megaphone of Twitter, and now maybe Facebook, is beyond irresponsible.”

 

Image via Shuttterstock

 

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‘Your Client Is a Criminal Defendant’: Judge Denies Trump Request to Skip Trial for SCOTUS

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Barely hours after New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan gave Donald Trump the same set of rules requiring him to appear in court as all other criminal defendants, the ex-president’s attorney requested his client be allowed to skip trial next Thursday to attend the U.S. Supreme Court arguments on his immunity claim.

“If you do not show up there will be an arrest,” Judge Merchan had told Trump Monday at the start of his criminal trial, according to MSNBC’s Jesse Rodriguez. Trump is facing 34 felony charges for falsification of business records related to his alleged attempts to cover up hush money payments in an effort to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.

Judge Merchan had read from the same rules that apply to all defendants, but right at the end of day one of trial Trump attorney Todd Blanche made his request.

MSNBC’s Lisa Rubin reports, “after the potential jurors are gone, the fireworks start after Blanche asks Merchan to allow Trump to attend the SCOTUS argument on presidential immunity next Thursday, 4/25.”

READ MORE: ‘What Will Happen in the Situation Room?’: Trump Appearing to Sleep in Court Fuels Concerns

“The Manhattan DA’s office opposes the request, saying they have accommodated Trump enough,” MSNBC’s Katie Phang adds, citing Rubin’s reporting.

Judge Merchan “acknowledges a Supreme Court argument is a ‘big deal,’ but says that the jury’s time is a big deal too. Blanche says they don’t think they should be here at all, suggesting that the trial never should have been scheduled during campaign season.”

“That comment appeared to trigger Merchan, who asked, voice dripping with incredulity, ‘You don’t think you should be here at all?'” Rubin writes.

“He then softly asks Blanche to move along from that objection, on which he has already ruled. Merchan then got stern, ruling that Trump is not required to be at SCOTUS but is required, by law, to attend his criminal trial here.”

“Your client is a criminal defendant in New York. He is required to be here. He is not required to be in the Supreme Court. I will see him here next week,” Judge Merchan told Blanche, CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane reported.

That was not the only request Trump’s attorneys made to have their client excused from the criminal proceedings.

Lawfare managing editor Tyler McBrien reports, “Blanche says that the campaign has taken pains to schedule events on Wednesdays and asks Merchan if Trump be excused from any hearings that take place on Wednesdays, when the jury is in recess. Merchan says he will take this into consideration.”

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

Blanche also asked Judge Merchan to allow Trump to skip trial to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation. While the judge has yet to rule, Trump told reporters at the end of day one of trial, “it looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation.”

The judge told Trump, “I cannot rule on those dates at this time.”

But Trump told reporters, “It looks like the judge isn’t going to allow me to escape this scam, it’s a scam trial.”

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‘What Will Happen in the Situation Room?’: Trump Appearing to Sleep in Court Fuels Concerns

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Donald Trump’s apparent sleeping in court on day one of his criminal trial for alleged business fraud related to a cover-up of “hush money” election interference has critics concerned.

While initial reactions to the news largely mocked him as “Sleepy Don,” or “Drowsy Don,” political and legal experts are wondering if the 77-year old ex-president would be able to stay awake during times of crisis, when an alert president would be critical to the nation’s security.

The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman, the longtime “Trump whisperer,” reported the ex-president “seemed alternately irritated and exhausted Monday morning,” “appeared to nod off a few times, his mouth going slack and his head drooping onto his chest.” She added the ex-president’s attorney “passed him notes for several minutes before Mr. Trump appeared to jolt awake and notice them.”

READ MORE: ‘Staged Photo Op’ of Trump With Black Chick-fil-A Patrons Was ‘True Retail Politics’ Says Fox News

Haberman followed up her Times article with a CNN appearance detailing more of what she saw. The Guardian‘s Victoria Bekiempis, MSNBC’s Katie Phang, and others also reported Trump was seen nodding off.

Critics raised concerns that question Trump’s ability to perform the duties of President.

“If Trump is too old and weak to stay awake at his own criminal trial, what do you think will happen in the Situation Room?” asked former senior advisor to President Barack Obama Dan Pfeiffer.

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch invoked Hillary Clinton’s famous “3 AM phone call” ad from the 2008 campaign, and wrote:

“2008: Which candidate can handle the 3 a.m. phone call?

2024: Which candidate can handle the 3 p.m. phone call?”

Several also noted that Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State, testified for 11 hours on live television before a congressional committee and did not fall asleep. Some also noted that President Joe Biden sat for a five-hour deposition with Special Consul Robert Hur and did not fall asleep.

READ MORE: ‘Not a Good Start’: Judge Slams Trump’s ‘Offensive’ Recusal Claims as a ‘Loose End’

Calling it “simply incredible,” professor of law, MSNBC/NBC News legal contributor and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance asked, “If he can’t keep his eyes open when his own liberty is at stake, why would Americans have confidence he’s capable of focus when our country’s interests require sound presidential leadership?”

MSNBC contributor Brian Tyler Cohen commented, “To be clear, ‘Sleepy Joe’ is awake and criss-crossing the country, while Trump is literally asleep at his own criminal trial.”

Former journalist Jennifer Schultz observed, “Moment of truth for all the legacy media outlets who hyped the Biden age stories. Now we have actual evidence of the other candidate falling asleep at a critical time.”

 

Image via Shutterstock

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Fox Personality’s Tweet Called ‘Jury Tampering’ by US Congressman

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A Fox personality and Fox News contributor’s social media post on Monday is raising eyebrows, as one U.S. Congressman calls it “jury tampering” and a legal expert suggests it could be “conspiring to commit jury tampering.”

Clay Travis is an attorney and the founder of the conservative “sports and American culture” website Outkick, which was purchased by Fox Corporation in 2021.

His Fox News bio calls him “the founder of the fastest-growing national multimedia platform,” and, “One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry,” who “provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics.”

READ MORE: ‘Not a Good Start’: Judge Slams Trump’s ‘Offensive’ Recusal Claims as a ‘Loose End’

On Monday, Travis’ account on X, formerly Twitter, displayed a post that reads: “If you’re a Trump supporter in New York City who is a part of the jury pool, do everything you can to get seated on the jury and then refuse to convict as a matter of principle, dooming the case via hung jury. It’s the most patriotic thing you could possibly do.”

“Jury tampering. That’s what they do. *It’s a felony,” wrote U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) in response.

National security attorney Bradley Moss weighed in, writing, “Clay is arguably conspiring to commit jury tampering here by encouraging someone to deliberately engage in jury nullification. Not a wise move by Clay.”

Former federal and state prosecutor Ron Filipkowski, now the editor-in-chief of MediasTouch, wrote simply, “This is MAGA.”

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

Sirius XM host Dean Obeidallah, also an attorney, commented, “Hoping Manhattan DA is aware of this attempted jury tampering by Fox News regular Clay Travis.” He also wrote: “This is the exact type of juror tampering I knew Trumpers would engage in. Next Clay will tell Trumpers to bribe jurors or witnesses. MAGA is a cancer!”

Travis, responding to Congressman Swalwell, denied the allegation:

“This isn’t jury tampering you imbecile. I would nullify if I were seated on this jury as a matter of principle. I think all Americans with a comprehension of basic justice should do the same.”

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