Judge Tanya Chutkan has scheduled a hearing this month to decide whether to grant Jack Smith’s request for a gag order on Donald Trump. If the order is granted, and Trump then violates it, he’ll face penalties up to and including pretrial incarceration. In the meantime Smith keeps making filings about Trump’s misbehavior, and one passage stands out.
Last week Donald Trump’s hype man posted a video purporting to show Trump buying a gun at a trade show. After everyone pointed out that this would be a criminal violation of Trump’s current bail conditions, the hype man then deleted the video. Trump’s campaign then put out a statement claiming Trump did not buy the gun, and the major media outlets ended up parroting that statement without questioning it. Trump himself later posted the video on social media, and claimed that he did buy the gun, but the media failed to revisit the story. Fortunately, Jack Smith is better at his job than the media is at its job.
In Jack Smith’s latest court filing this weekend he references the alleged gun purchase and points out that either he illegally bought a gun, or he committed fraud by falsely claiming to have bought the gun in the name of fundraising from his supporters.
Given that Jack Smith is citing the alleged gun purchase in a court filing seeking a gag order, it’s a given that Smith’s team is investigating the incident in order to determine what really happened. But, as Smith has already spelled out, it’s his view that Trump has committed a crime either way.
We’ll see if Smith ends up bringing charges for the gun incident, which he says would be a “separate federal crime” if Trump did indeed purchase the gun. But in the meantime, Smith is already using the gun incident as a basis for seeking the gag order.
Donald Trump isn’t “getting away” with things like buying a gun (or pretending to buy a gun) in violation of his bail. His antics are directly blowing back on him. The gun incident just increased the odds of Trump getting hit with a gag order – which will put him in prison until his trial if he violates it – and it may result in additional criminal charges against him. Trump isn’t getting away with anything. He’s only hastening his own downfall.
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