Legal experts are responding to Donald Trump‘s Monday morning social media meltdown, which comes before a possible grand jury indictment against the ex-president in Fulton County, Georgia this week.
Overnight Trump had lit up his Truth Social platform with attacks against Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is prosecuting the case against Trump’s alleged actions to overturn the 2020 election including the events surrounding the January 6, 2021 insurrection, and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is in charge of that case.
On Monday, Trump turned his anger to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who, according to reports, may ask a grand jury this week to indict Trump for alleged crimes related to his efforts to reverse the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, along with possibly other charges including racketeering (RICO).
Trump on Monday also targeted the Republican former Lt. Governor of Georgia, Geoff Duncan. On Saturday Duncan confirmed reports, saying, “I have been requested to testify before the Fulton County grand jury on Tuesday. I look forward to answering their questions around the 2020 election. Republicans should never let honesty be mistaken for weakness.”
Appearing to respond to this news, Trump attacked.
“I am reading reports that failed former Lt. Governor of Georgia, Jeff Duncan, will be testifying before the Fulton County Grand Jury,” the thrice-indicted ex-president said on social media, incorrectly spelling Duncan’s first name.
“He shouldn’t,” Trump declared. “I barely know him but he was, right from the beginning of this Witch Hunt, a nasty disaster for those looking into the Election Fraud that took place in Georgia. He refused having a Special Session to find out what went on, became very unpopular with Republicans (I refused to endorse him!), and fought the TRUTH all the way.”
Trump then called Duncan a “loser,” before adding he is now a political commentator for CNN, which the ex-president referred to as “FNCNN,” likely meaning “fake news CNN.”
Posting a screenshot of Trump’s Truth Social post, George Conway, a noted attorney who has successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, responded, writing: “This morning’s first attempt at witness intimidation.”
Calling his targeting of Duncan “exceptionally bad even for Donald Trump,” professor of law and political scientist Anthony Michael Kreis says: “Add witness tampering to the potential predicate acts for a Georgia RICO charge. O.C.G.A. § 16-10-93. This is blatantly unlawful stuff.”
Former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade, a professor of law and well-known MSNBC legal analyst also posted a screenshot of Trump’s attack on Duncan, calling it: “Witness tampering in real time.”
National security attorney Brad Moss responded to Trump’s attacks on Judge Chutkan and observed, “He is just daring the judge now.”
Conway also posted screenshots of Trump’s Monday morning attacks against Willis, and commented, “I’m so looking forward to the mug shot.”
I’m so looking forward to the mug shot. pic.twitter.com/q9IxkAccrF
— Xeorge Xonway (@gtconway3d) August 14, 2023
See Conway’s social media post above or at this link.
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‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order
Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.
Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.
“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”
Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.
Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”
“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”
And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.
Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.
After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”
“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”
‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster
After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.
“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.
Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”
“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.
“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”
Let me tell you about the real world consequences of Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as Speaker. No one should celebrate this day. This level of dysfunction is terrible for America. pic.twitter.com/7NsQrz7Pro
— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 3, 2023
Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.
McCarthy Ousted as Speaker in Historic First as Republicans Vow Vengeance Against Gaetz: ‘Kiss My A–’
U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been ousted as the elected Speaker of the House of Representatives after a weeks-long campaign by his fellow Republican, Congressman Matt Gaetz. The Republican Florida lawmaker vowed over the weekend to put a “motion to vacate” on the House floor, which he did Monday night. Tuesday afternoon McCarthy lost the support of the majority in a full House vote.
No Speaker of the House has ever been ousted by a motion to vacation, according to the Associated Press, until McCarthy.
“The Office of the Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant,” the presiding Republican lawmakers declared. The final vote was 216-210.
🚨🚨 BREAKING — THE HOUSE HAS VOTED TO REMOVE KEVIN MCCARTHY AS SPEAKER.
8 Republicans and all Democrats present voted to oust McCarthy after 269 days as speaker.
The House, once again, is in a state of chaos.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 3, 2023
No Democrats voted to support McCarthy as Speaker.
Overall House Republicans are furious with Gaetz, with some vowing to expel him should the House Ethics Committee submit a negative report on their investigation into his alleged, possible sexual misconduct, unlawful drug use, and public corruption.
In addition to Gaetz, other House Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy include Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Bob Good, Nancy Mace, and Matt Rosendale.
“After talking to a few House Republican lawmakers and aides,” during the vote to oust McCarthy as Speaker, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reported he “would not be surprised to see someone move to have Gaetz expelled from the House Republican Conference.”
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) in a profane rant slammed Gaetz, in a recorded video, saying, “You want to come at me and call me a RINO you can kiss my ass! You go around talking your big game and thumping your chest on Twitter. Come in my office and have a debate mother —!”
Chip Roy goes after Gaetz: “You want to come at me and call me a RINO you can kiss my ass! You go around talking your big game and thumping your chest on Twitter. Come in my office and have a debate mother —-!” pic.twitter.com/mk6Qv6PfC6
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) October 3, 2023
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-LA) help up his phone while delivering remarks against Gaetz, chastising him for fundraising off his efforts to oust McCarthy.
“Using official actions to raise money. It’s disgusting!” he told his colleagues.
Republican Rep. Graves calls out Matt Gaetz for fundraising on speaker fight
“Using official actions to raise money. It’s disgusting!” pic.twitter.com/LgoQWxBiiN
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) October 3, 2023
What happens next? According to The New York Times on Tuesday, “If McCarthy is removed, the House would be paralyzed.”
“A vacancy in the speaker’s chair would essentially paralyze the House until a successor is chosen, according to multiple procedural experts. An interim speaker would be chosen from a list prepared by Mr. McCarthy and his staff at the beginning of the year, but staff intimately familiar with House rules say the role of that person would be to oversee a speaker election and little more.”
As for McCarthy, he has said if removed as Speaker he would not resign from Congress. On Tuesday he suggested he would definitely run again for Speaker.
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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