Exclusive: An Informer Told the FBI What Docs Trump Was Hiding, and Where
William Arkin of Newsweek revealed that there was an informer at Mar-a-lago. Everyone will be speculating on WHO it was. I want to talk about how we can use the expected attacks on the informer against Trump and his MAGA mob.
We know what Trump will do. He’ll go after the informer on social media. It’s what he does. His people will get the message. The informer is in danger.
The FBI knows who the person is, so this a perfect opportunity to capture all the calls/texts/ social media threats, smears and libel coming at them from all sources. But will they? And if they do, what will they do with this information?
If they chose to, the FBI can use the expected threats to build strong criminal cases against the people making them. And, if the informer chooses to, they can build strong civil cases against the people defaming, harassing and threatening them.
We know that the FBI has a method when working with sources to prepare them following an attempt at witness tampering. When Trump called a witness who was set to testify before the January 6th committee, former prosecutor Glenn Kirschner explained how the FBI prepares for witness tampering with “recorded call backs.” The FBI teaches the source how to draw out the people making threats to get their intent. These recordings can be used in obstruction cases.
But I want the FBI to do more than prepare for witness tampering cases. I want the Feds to be looking into how to win criminal cases against the people making death threats, harassing and intimidating them online.
It's time to learn from the right's history of threats of violence and flip them to fight the MAGA's mob threats coming s from all vectors: RW media, phone calls, text messages, email, social media and in person threats when they show up at houses with weapons to protest.
If the informant wants to file criminal charges about online threats, the FBI can help them by suggesting how to engage with those making threats in order to prove their intent. As we see in Elonis v. United States, to charge someone with a "true threat" the prosecution needs to show intent. Without this if law enforcement actually DOES follow up with a threat, they are often dismissed as hyperbole, or the person who is caught says a variation of "I didn't mean it when I said 'I'm going to come to your house and put a b u llit in your brain.' It was a joke!"
Why the Right LOVES to make death threats. They work!
We have learned from the great reporting of Linda So and Jason Szep in Reuter's that law enforcement dismisses A LOT of threats as "1st Amendment protected speech," especially when it's not local and on social media.
Death threats from the MAGA base is a Win-Win-Win for them. There are no significant downsides to them. When there are no criminal charges or negative consequences for the people making them, they continue. That's why I'm really glad that Eric Swalwell addressed the threats of violence that are coming out of MAGA base following the FBI search of Mar-a-lago.
I HOPE the informant prepares to file criminal charges & works with the FBI to get hard evidence. But I know that it will take YEARS for criminal cases to go forward. The other way to ensure that the MAGA base experiences negative consequences for their defamation, harassment and intimidation of people is to charge them with CIVIL lawsuits.
If witnesses, whistleblowers, and election workers are going to be threatened & defamed, and the rich ones won't be going to jail for doing it, there should be compensation for the damage to their lives because of the attacks. (Latest example of what this looks like is the Alex Jones' cases against the Sandy Hook families.)
Ask your lawyer if a defamation case is right for you!
When the media finally told the story of the threats to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, they also noted how poorly law enforcement responded. No one was arrested or charged while this was happening. Joy Reid’s story in the Reidout Blog reminds people of the threats the two received.
So Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye filed civil lawsuits against The Gateway Pundit, Rudy Giuliani and OAN. They WON their multi-million dollar case against OAN.
Now the odds are that the informant was a Trump insider. I'm glad they acted to do the right thing for the good of the country. But now that they have acted, their life, as they know it, will be over. There will be no MAGA gravy train for them every again. So they will need a way to survive in the world later. They could write a book, or get a spot on MSNBC, but that's not possible for everyone. They can't always get a Go-Fund-Me going.
In America these days it's not enough to just defeat the right. You need to crush them in multiple ways, because they keep coming after you. So I'm all in favor of figuring out ways to use defeating them to raise money. I'm a huge fan of qui tam cases. I like when the SPLC goes after the assets of hate groups. In my world, I'd use these kinds of cases to fund our ongoing fights against them.
(A recent case is of using their reactions against them to raise money for our causes is Olivia Julianna, the 18 year old who flipped the script on Matt Gaetz and raised 2 million dollars for abortion access in less than a week.)
It will take time to change MAGA world's constant use of threats of violence. They are already attacking the judge who signed the Trump search warrant.
But stories of individuals doing time for threats have been starting to make a difference on people's behavior. Ben Collins did a story about Tyler Welsh Slaeker, a Washington state man awaiting sentencing for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, who wrote about a "civil war" on Reddit,
Later on in the night, Slaeker clarified in a reply that he could not be more specific about his civil war post.
“I am awaiting sentencing for trespassing into the Capitol,” he wrote. “I am only being careful with my words.”
We know that huge fines for defamation had an impact on OAN. News Corporation is very careful of defaming voting machine companies now. We have evidence of what changes their behavior.
To change individual's behavior we need to prepare for how they typically respond and then make them face real consequences for their USE OF UNPROTECTED THREATENING SPEECH--and make them pay a price.