Lawfare and censorship

Lawfare and censorship

New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron (Erin Schaff/New York Times via AP, Pool)

Lawfare and censorship

The massive fine levied against Donald Trump last week is designed to destroy his family's business and drain resources that could be used in his presidential campaign. That's just one example of how the Left is taking lawfare to a whole new level.

Robert Knight
Robert Knight

Robert Knight is a columnist for The Washington Times. His latest book is "Crooked: What Really Happened in the 2020 Election and How to Stop the Fraud."

Recent events give new meaning to the term "trumped-up charges."

A Democrat New York State Supreme Court justice, in cahoots with a Democrat state attorney general, has written a new chapter in the book of political lawfare.

With no victims, no client complaints and no evidence of fraud, Judge Arthur Engoron nonetheless levied a $354 million fine against former President Donald Trump for the crime of doing business in the Democrat jurisdiction of New York.

A smirking Judge Engoron also barred Mr. Trump from operating in New York for at least two years, along with two of his sons. The idea is to destroy the Trump family business once and for all and drain resources that could be used in Mr. Trump's presidential campaign.

New York Attorney General Letitia James alleged that Mr. Trump inflated his assets to get better loan terms. But the banks had voiced no objections, got paid back in full with interest and Mr. Trump was able to invest in more job-creating development.

Yes, everybody was happy and nobody complained until Democrats decided to abuse the system yet again to tar their most loathed political opponent.

Writing in The Washington Times, Judge Andrew Napolitano called it "government theft at its worst."

The decision, he said, "defies the principles of no damages without breach of a duty and no damages without caused harm, which have been the bedrock of American tort law. It also redefines fraud."

Four days after the verdict, Ms. James announced that if Mr. Trump doesn't pay up, she would begin seizing his buildings in New York.

Elsewhere, courts – many of which dismissed allegations of election irregularities in 2020 on procedural grounds – are destroying the careers of Mr. Trump's former lawyers who questioned the election result.

The lesson? Even if you suspect that vote manipulation occurred, don't even think about bringing it up if you know what's good for you.

In heavily Democrat Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis and her boyfriend-on-the payroll are prosecuting him and his attorneys for allegedly running a "criminal racketeering enterprise" for questioning the validity of the 2020 vote in the Peach State. 

"The Supreme Court needs to step in at some point and stop the lawfare that's clearly political. This has no place in our system. It looks more like Communist China or Russia or Cuba – places like that, where the legal system is a joke." (Columnist Robert Knight, in an interview with AFN)

Meanwhile, lawfare on behalf of climate change hysteria is heating up considerably.

In heavily Democrat Washington, DC, a Superior Court jury socked conservative commentator Mark Steyn with a $1 million fine. He was sued for defamation over his sharp and funny opinion piece a dozen years ago criticizing celebrity climate scientist Michael Mann and his "hockey stick" graph that supposedly illustrates how global warming is man-made.

Judge Alfred S. Irving, a George W. Bush appointee who allowed the verdict, also allowed a similar ruling against the Competitive Enterprise Institute and its analyst, Rand Simberg, fining him $1,000.

So much for freedom of speech, freedom of the press or robust scientific inquiry. This is as effective a form of censorship as blocking broadcasts or sending goons to wreck a printing press. Unless this verdict is overturned on appeal, anyone questioning climate hysteria is fair game for lawsuits.

In early February, the leftist umbrella group Climate Power sent a letter to broadcasters demanding they pull ads that expose the Biden administration's intent to "ban new gas-powered cars" and "force you into an electric vehicle."

Which is exactly what's going on despite a massive pushback by car dealers stuck with thousands of unwanted EVs.

Climate Power executive Jill Shesol said the spots, run by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) in Arizona, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, were "obvious lies aimed at deceiving the public and must be pulled from the air immediately."

She cited the "fact-check" site PolitiFact, which declared that it was "wrong to say there is a 'Biden mandate' to replace gasoline-powered cars with [electric cars]."

Really? Mr. Biden's EPA issued a mandate requiring automakers to make two-thirds of their products electric by 2032 to hit "zero-emission vehicle" goals. That effectively destroys the gasoline-powered car and truck industry.

Remember this the next time someone cites PolitiFact to "correct" a fact-based statement that damages a leftist narrative on climate, COVID, the border, sexuality, abortion, election integrity or anything involving President Trump.

Finally, the Biden administration and its "legacy media" have pressured social media companies to ban conservative content and to portray Mr. Trump as a "threat to democracy."

In the Washington Post on Feb. 18, tech writer Kara Swisher accused Silicon Valley of facilitating Mr. Trump's rise – a crime in her book.

"Let me be clear," she wrote. "Hitler didn't need Instagram. Mussolini didn't need to tweet. Murderous autocrats did not need to Snapchat their way to infamy. But just imagine if they'd had those supercharged tools. Well, Trump did, and he won the 2016 election."

Joe Biden had the same tools and more in 2020. But that was okay, right?

This article appeared originally here.

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