Jack Smith asked a federal judge to reimpose Donald Trump’s gag order and to “modify the conditions of his release” in Trump’s election interference case in Washington DC. The Special counsel has accused Trump of trying to intimidate witnesses — including his former chief of staff Mark Meadows.
“The defendant’s continued targeting of witnesses,” Smith wrote on page 30 in the filing in federal court, “and repeated violations of a similar order in New York during the brief interval while the order has been administratively stayed … not only illustrates the risks of suspending the court’s appropriate order, they demonstrate why the court should lift the stay and modify the defendant’s conditions of release to protect witnesses from [Donald Trump’s continued] attacks.”
So what does all that legalese mean, anyway? It means that when Judge Tanya Chutkan temporarily (and infuriatingly) suspended Donald Trump’s gag order while Trump was appealing it, Trump exploited that brief interval by escalating his attacks on witnesses against him — verbally and in writing.
Smith saw this for what it was. It was a mistake for Chutkan to suspend the gag order and an excess of unnecessary “fairness.” Smith wants the gag order immediately reinstated, this time with special modifications to protect witnesses from further attacks.
And what are those special modifications? Smith wants the gag order to now apply to a revocation of Trump’s “conditions of release.” In other words, the next time Trump threatens a witness the conditions of his release should be instantly revoked. That means Trump should be immediately arrested by federal marshals and unceremoniously tossed straight into jail. “And throw away the key,” Smith didn’t add. That was mine.
As you may recall, brothers and sisters, I predicted that Donald Trump would be in jail before Christmas. The conditions for Trump’s jailing have all been met. Specifically, Trump would receive one or more gag orders. He has. Trump would violate those gag orders. He did. Trump would receive penalties for violating those gag orders. He has. Trump would ignore those penalties. He has.
Now Smith wants Chutkan’s gag order modified so that next time Trump violates it it’s hoosegow time. In other words, Jack Smith sees Donald Trump as a risk to witnesses and he’s not going to stop being a risk to witnesses — ever — for as long as he remains a free man.
As I wrote before, my certainty of this stems from my many, many years of personal experience with narcissists. This is what they do. This is how they operate without exception. They can’t be cowed, they can’t be threatened into submission, they will not stop. Anyone with experience with narcissists knows this.
In the run up to the 2020 election, I also wrote that Trump would employ violent means to stay in power. I got a lot of criticism for writing that, but I knew it was inevitably true because of my experience with narcissists. I also said he would never concede that he lost the election, despite the evidence, no matter how overwhelming the evidence turned out to be. He has not.
Nor is he ever going to stop trying to intimidate, threaten and frighten witnesses. The only way to stop him is by way of the physical restraint of prison. He can’t be thrown into jail for the weekend, either. That won’t work. He has to be imprisoned until the end of all of his trials.
And once Trump’s criminal trials are over, he has to go to prison for the rest of his life. That is the only way to stop Trump’s continued threats to people, to the rule of law and the continuation of American democracy. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.