Sunday, April 14, 2024

Courts Rebuke Jack Smith for Violating Trump’s Rights

'[F]or the first time in American history, a court allowed access to presidential communications before any scrutiny of executive privilege... We should not have endorsed this gambit...'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Four appellate court judges slammed special counsel Jack Smith for violating former President Donald Trump’s privacy rights after Smith was granted access to Trump’s now-defunct Twitter account information Tuesday, the Independent Sentinel reported.

U.S. Circuit Judge Neomi Rao wrote a joint statement, signed by Circuit judges Justin Walker, Gregory Katsas and Karen Henderson, condemning the ruling on the grounds that it recklessly undermined the presidential powers of executive privilege and thus threatened to upset the system of checks and balances among the coequal branches of government.

Smith surreptitiously sought the warrant to access Trump’s accounts without the knowledge of the former president or those with whom he may have privately corresponded on Twitter.

“This case turned on the First Amendment rights of a social media company, but looming in the background are consequential and novel questions about executive privilege and the balance of power between the President, Congress, and the courts,” the judges wrote.

The statement also rebuked far-left judges Beryl Howell and Florence Pan, the two who granted Smith permission to access Trump’s files.

“Seeking access to former President Donald Trump’s Twitter/X account, Special Counsel Jack Smith directed a search warrant at Twitter and obtained a nondisclosure order that prevented Twitter from informing President Trump about the search,” the judges noted.

According to Rao and her compatriots, the undermining of the executive branch’s power by way of a power play against Trump could have longstanding political consequences.

“Rather than follow established precedent, for the first time in American history, a court allowed access to presidential communications before any scrutiny of executive privilege,” they wrote.

“We should not have endorsed this gambit,” the judges added, calling it a mistake and an “unprecedented search” that completely defies both the Constitution and legal precedent.

Nonetheless, the reckless overreach by Smith and his partisan colleagues at the Justice Department may ultimately prove to be their undoing through a case in which Trump is not even one of the parties named, according to a Politico report.

The Supreme Court is set to hear Joseph W. Fischer v. United States, in which the high court will decide whether or not the weaponized DOJ has improperly applied the charge for “obstruction of an official proceeding” in more than 150 cases related to Jan. 6.

Critics note that the statute, part of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act that stemmed from the George W. Bush-era Enron scandal, had only ever been applied to financial disclosures

While the Fischer case has little to do with Trump directly, if the court rules in Fischer’s favor, a good portion of Smith’s case against Trump could be immediately jeopardized since two of the four counts Trump was indicted on are the obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to do so.

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