Former President Donald Trump is taking his fascist rhetoric to new heights with recent calls to jail journalists who don’t reveal their sources.
Trump ranted on his social media platform, Truth Social after an internal Supreme Court investigation failed to turn up the origin of the leak of Justice Alito’s Dobbs opinion last Spring.
“They’ll never find out, & it’s important that they do,” Trump posted.
“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. You might add the editor and publisher to the list.”
Politico reporters Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward revealed the draft opinion prior to the Supreme Court’s official ruling, sparking nationwide protests against the rollback of over 50 years of constitutionally protected reproductive healthcare and privacy rights.
Facing the political consequences of the leak, Republican politicians and right-wing pundits cried foul, demanding to know who leaked the opinion and calling for swift retribution.
Close to 100 court employees were interviewed in the Supreme Court investigation.
Employees turned over phone records and billing statements.
Nearly seven dozen court employees had access to the draft opinion, not including the nine Justices.
This isn’t the first leak the nation’s highest court has had to contend with.
In late 2022, it was reported that Justice Samuel Alito was the source of a 2014 leak in the Hobby Lobby case that determined a company’s obligation (or lack thereof) to include contraception in health care benefits.
While the probe investigated court employees and scrutinized any communications with Politico during a specific time frame, the Justices themselves were left off the interview list, raising questions as to whether the probe was as comprehensive and thorough as needed.
“In time, continued investigation and analysis may produce additional leads that could identify the source of the disclosure,” the report states, adding:
“Whether or not any individual is ever identified as the source of the disclosure, the Court should take action to create and implement better policies to govern the handling of Court-sensitive information and determine the best IT systems for security and collaboration.”
The leak didn’t hinder or prohibit the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, only alerting the public to the hypocrisy and outright lies told by several justices during their respective confirmation hearings.
Trump’s calls to jail journalists protecting their sources show how out of touch the former President is with the Constitution and its protections.
It is also a stark reminder of what’s to be expected if the ex-President is elected for another term in 2024.
Original reporting by Zach Schonfeld at The Hill.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick