“Trump’s defense team casts Jan. 6 indictment as an attack on free speech”

Washington Times:

University of California, Berkeley law professor John Yoo said free speech isn’t an all-encompassing right and some speech is criminal.

“As a historical matter, this is the most important criminal prosecution that has ever been brought by the federal government,” he said. “It should be correspondingly airtight on the facts and the law, but it is not. It is really stretching the law.”…

Jonathan Turley, who teaches constitutional law at George Washington University, said Mr. Smith “issued the first criminal indictment of alleged disinformation in my view.”

“If you take a red pen to all of the material presumably protected by the First Amendment, you can reduce much of the indictment to haiku,” Mr. Turley tweeted. “I felt that the Mar-a-Lago indictment [over mishandling classified documents] was strong. This is the inverse.”

But Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, professor of law at Stetson University College of Law, said a recent Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Hansen “blows Trump’s First Amendment arguments out of the water.”

The court said in the ruling that “words may be enough” for individuals to face criminal charges for encouraging unlawful acts, and assisting “a wrongdoer with the intent to further an offense’s commission.”

“The First Amendment wasn’t a shield for Mr. Hansen and it won’t be a shield for Mr. Trump either,” Ms. Torres-Spelliscy said in an email to The Washington Times.

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