Jack Smith thinks he can leak evidence, but Trump can't

Jack Smith thinks he can leak evidence, but Trump can't

Jack Smith thinks he can leak evidence, but Trump can't

Reporters in the liberal media are so devoid of introspection that they are incapable of imagining that Joe Biden's Justice Department seeking multiple indictments and trials of Donald Trump during an election year defines undemocratic election interference.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham

Tim Graham is executive editor of NewsBusters and director of media analysis for the Media Research Center. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, National Review and other publications.

The media's never-ending negative campaign against former President Donald Trump has always relied heavily on the exploitation of anonymous sources. Journalists position themselves as the idealists defending "democratic norms," but there's nothing "democratic" about anonymous mudslinging. That may be a Democrat norm, but it's not democratic.

It's also ridiculous for the media to pretend the Trump indictments aren't shredding a democratic norm, or that they are somehow nonpartisan or nonpolitical. Trump's Justice Department didn't indict Hunter Biden in the last campaign. The Democrats – in Washington, in New York City, and soon in Georgia – are doing that to Trump.

When special counsel Jack Smith (pictured above) sought a protective order against Trump after Trump made revenge threats against unnamed enemies, New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman and Alan Feuer reported on Aug. 5 that Trump has "promised that if elected, he would appoint a 'real' special prosecutor to investigate Mr. Biden and his family, proposing to eliminate the post-Watergate norm of Justice Department independence."

So, if Trump does what President Joe Biden did, his attempt at revenge violates the norm, not the original weaponization.

Update: The federal judge overseeing the election conspiracy case against Donald Trump agreed Friday morning with the defense on a looser version of a protective order for evidence in the case, but she largely sided with the prosecution on what sensitive materials should be protected as she vowed to keep politics out of her rulings. More details...

Smith's prosecution of Trump is so transparently and arrogantly political that he filed another motion surrounding the protective order, objecting to Trump lawyer John Lauro appearing on five Sunday news programs. Lauro argued Smith was seeking to suppress Trump's freedom of speech. Smith's motion complained:

"The defendant seeks to use the discovery material to litigate this case in the media. But that is contrary to the purpose of criminal discovery, which is to afford defendants the ability to prepare for and mount a defense in court – not to wage a media campaign."

So, by that standard, Trump's lawyers should never appear on television on a topic as ABC, CBS and NBC are obsessing over each indictment for literally hundreds of minutes. Smith's ideal is apparently media coverage that is all prosecution and no defense. The indictment is everything, and any response to it harms democracy and the judicial system.

But on Aug. 9, The New York Times published an anonymously sourced front-page story revealing a post-election strategy memo from Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro that "first came to light in last week's indictment of Trump." Did Team Smith leak it? No one will ever know. The Times will vaguely mention "a copy obtained by The New York Times." The story by Maggie Haberman, Charlie Savage and Luke Broadwater was all Trump prosecution, and no defense.

Previous defendants in Smith cases – like former Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell – have complained the prosecutor aggressively leaked to the papers. But somehow you can't accuse Smith of that here ... because the pro-Biden media refuse to reveal their anonymous sources for anti-Trump hit jobs.

Back in the quaint days of 2009, PBS anchorman Jim Lehrer provided a list of his journalistic rules including, "Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes, except on rare and monumental occasions," and "No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously."

The New York Times (and almost everyone else in the leftist press) does not subscribe to these rules of fairness and civility, especially when it comes to the former president, now at risk of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Reporters act shocked that Trump has gained in the polls after multiple indictments. They are so devoid of introspection that they are incapable of imagining that Biden's Justice Department seeking multiple indictments and trials during an election year defines undemocratic election interference. The media manipulate voters by obsessing over Trump scandals and drive out all the policy issues voters would like discussed.


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