Russian Investigation Gag Order

Updated June 29, 2018. After the issue of gag orders came up in the Stormy Daniels case, it’s clear the Russian investigation needs a gag order as well.

There should be a gag order with respect to the Robert Mueller investigation. A gag order doesn’t ban discussion. It does require that it take place under oath. The Mueller team doesn’t appear to be leaking information, but people of interest are poisoning the search for truth. They release fragments of information and weave elaborate theories far beyond their facts.

Trump’s Tweets

Trump’s tweets on the Russian investigation labeling it a “witch hunt” and more are not binding on him, but do poison rational assessment of facts. If he wants to comment on an investigation into his actions, he should do it under oath.

Robert Mueller may not be swayed by Trump’s tweets, but the chilling effect they have on a free, fair, and truth-finding investigation is already clear. Repeated viewing of a statement affects one’s beliefs at a lower level than rational thought.

In addition, untrue tweets corrupt reasoning. If you reason with false facts, you come to false conclusions.

No matter how smart a cat you are, if you reason from false facts you get an invalid conclusion
False facts makes a smart cat dumb

No matter how smart a cat you are, if you reason from false facts you get an invalid conclusion

Also on the secondary purpose, the public mood is already ugly and getting worse. Trump has been laying the groundwork that if he can’t tweet his self-serving views and insults that he will claim to his followers he can’t tell his story.

But that’s not true. A gag order doesn’t ban discussion. It requires that it take place under oath.

Otherwise, we the people will never hear the unvarnished truth. We only hear Trump’s twitter versions which are not tethered by truth.

Trump Uses Gag Orders

Did you remember that the Trump administration placed a gag order earlier this year? Fortune magazine published an article, “Trump Administration Puts Gag Order on Several Government Agencies” in Jan 24, 2017

Employees at several federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture have been barred by the Trump administration from making any statements, or providing any documents to the public or journalists, according to published reports.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services are also impacted by the orders, which were reportedly handed down this week, and include a prohibition against some of the agencies posting on social media.

This administrative order is variation on a gag order that prohibits all discussion. A court-ordered gag order do not forbid all discussion as Trumps’ executive orders do. They restricts discussion to statements made under oath.

a judge’s order prohibiting the attorneys and the parties to a pending lawsuit or criminal prosecution from talking to the media or the public about the case.

The intent is to prevent prejudice due to pre-trial publicity which would influence potential jurors.

A gag order has the secondary purpose of preventing the lawyers from trying the case in the press and on television, and thus creating a public mood (which could get ugly) in favor of one party or the other.

The cartoon below shows the more personal aspect of Trump’s awareness of the importance of controlling the information other people can hear about him, by silencing those who disagree—yet he continues to demean his accusers and the accusations.

Trump is no stranger to getting gag orders. As part of his divorce decrees, his ex-wives are forbidden to speak ill of him
Trump is no stranger to getting gag orders

Cartoon of Trump on Gold Star families. Bruce Plante Cartoon

Frequency of Messages – Impact


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