We have all shared this unsettling premonition that the attack on free speech is not just coming from Big Tech with the threat of censorship, but from the government backed by criminal prosecution. We are watching the government arrest hundreds of people not just for violence but for trespassing and negligible crimes at the Capitol when many of them were let into the building by the police. We are seeing the billboards and technology being used to hunt people down, as the most violent Antifa rioters are never arrested. No, this crackdown is not being driven by a concern for security and a sense of justice.
Well, now it’s confirmed that the government itself is rapidly headed toward criminalizing the speech of Trump supporters. The government is treating Antifa’s violence like speech and our speech like violence. What starts with bad behavior by Trump supporters (while ignoring what the other side does) will not end there.
Yesterday, a bizarre headline from the Justice Department’s Office of Public affairs caught my attention and raised the ire of many conservatives. “Social Media Influencer Charged with Election Interference Stemming from Voter Disinformation Campaign,” read the headline of a press release from the DOJ’s Eastern District of New York. That seemed odd to me because I’ve never seen such a vague and intangible charge after years of sifting through daily press releases from U.S. attorneys about espionage, trade theft, and gang activity. As I read further, my worst suspicions were confirmed.
“A Florida man was arrested this morning on charges of conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to use various social media platforms to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.”
Wow, that sounds interesting. So the DOJ is finally going after election fraud? Did this guy throw out ballots or engage in mail-in fraud like endless witnesses said in sworn affidavits and in testimony before legislatures? No, the DOJ is not interested in tangible fraud that involves an action; in fact, it is investigating any DOJ official who might have sought to investigate such fraud. It only prosecutes speech.