Former President Donald Trump called for the arrest of the reporter and publisher who published the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court was preparing to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
Trump’s comments, which seem like obvious hyperbole given the First Amendment, come after the Supreme Court announced their investigation into the matter had failed to identify the person or persons responsible for the leak and they were essentially just shrugging their shoulders.
The report, released by the U.S. Supreme Court Marshal on Thursday, states that an investigative team was unsuccessful in their attempts to “identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence” who leaked the draft opinion.
BREAKING: Supreme Court announces its investigation into the Dobbs opinion leaker has come up short. The Court is “unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.” pic.twitter.com/AgVbwOIvXu
— Steven Mazie (@stevenmazie) January 19, 2023
Trump called for drastic measures citing the importance of identifying the person who leaked the draft opinion.
“Arrest the reporter, publisher, editor – you’ll get your answer fast. Stop playing games and wasting time!” demanded Trump.
Supreme Court Draft Opinion Leak Published by Politico
Politico reported in May that the “Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision” citing “an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito” the outlet had obtained.
Reporters Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward acknowledged the stunning breach of Supreme Court confidentiality and secrecy in their report.
“No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending,” they wrote.
Analysts at the time had suggested the unprecedented failure to secure the Court’s process was an intimidation tactic, “an attempt to pressure a Supreme Court justice to change his or her vote on the pivotal case.”
Right now: Barricades are up around the Supreme Court building, just minutes after reports from Politico were leaked indicating SCOTUS has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. pic.twitter.com/LxR9rbs6TF
— Cami Mondeaux (@cami_mondeaux) May 3, 2022
With the Court unable to identify the leaker, former President Trump is suggesting authorities go after the known entities who made the opinion public.
“They’ll never find out, & it’s important that they do,” Trump told his followers on social media.
“So, go to the reporter & ask him/her who it was. If not given the answer, put whoever in jail until the answer is given,” he pressed. “You might add the publisher and editor to the list.”
“Stop playing games, this leaking cannot be allowed to happen. It won’t take long before the name of this slime is revealed!”
Obviously, such actions would be very unconstitutional.
Put Lives of Conservative Justices in Danger
You may recall the seriousness of the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. It literally put the lives of the conservative justices in danger.
Guys, they gave up on finding the Supreme Court leaker. Unbelievable.
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) January 19, 2023
Shortly after Politico reported the leak, a memo from the Department of Homeland Security showed the government was dealing with significant threats being made against the Supreme Court Justices.
“Law enforcement agencies are investigating social-media threats to burn down or storm the Supreme Court building and murder justices and their clerks, as well as attacks targeting places of worship and abortion clinics,” a report by Axios indicated.
Exclusive: Law enforcement agencies are investigating social-media threats to burn down or storm the Supreme Court building and murder justices and their clerks, as well as attacks targeting places of worship and abortion clinics. https://t.co/gI9RvHjy1p
— Jim VandeHei (@JimVandeHei) May 18, 2022
The leaked opinion led to several Justices being subjected to online threats, including publication of maps to their family homes, and culminating in an assassination attempt against Brett Kavanaugh and at least two others.
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley described the Court’s inability to identify the person who leaked the draft opinion as “chilling.”
“The Supreme Court’s report indicates that they cannot isolate the culprit among the over 80 possible suspects for the Dobbs leak,” Turley tweeted. “It is an admission that is almost as chilling as the leak itself.”
…In this age of rage, this danger will only grow. Someone felt that they had license to leak. Some others may now feel that they have the impunity to do so. https://t.co/2rggctrUQm
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) January 19, 2023
Senator Ted Cruz concurred, calling the news “deeply troubling.”
“The Supreme Court depends on trust to deliberate and this leak is incredibly damaging to the Court’s ability to function normally,” he tweeted. “The leaker must be brought to justice!”
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