It’s nice when dads and sons do things together, even when they’re potentially illegal activities. On the same day that Donald Trump, Jr. released e-mails proving that he met with a Russian lawyer who offered “high level and sensitive information” that would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton, a group of Twitter users who have been blocked by the president are suing Papa Trump.
The lawsuit is being spearheaded by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. “The @realDonaldTrump account is a kind of digital town hall in which the president and his aides use the tweet function to communicate news and information to the public,” it reads, “and members of the public use the reply function to respond to the president and his aides and exchange views with one another.” Trump’s tweets are “considered official statements by the president of the United States,” to quote Sean Spicer (he keeps rising from the proverbial grave, doesn’t he?), so American citizens not being able to read or reply to them directly violates the First Amendment.
Or, as our own Dan Seitz explained, “He’s cutting off taxpayers from viewing public statements from a government official. Since, technically speaking, everything Trump tweets is paid for by taxpayers, that’s not Constitutional.”
The lawsuit, which also names Spicer (again!) and Trump’s director of social media Dan Scavino as defendants, is seeking a “declaration that Mr. Trump’s blocking of the plaintiffs was unconstitutional, an injunction requiring him to unblock them and prohibiting him from blocking others for the views they express, and legal fees,” according to the New York Times.
It’s a very modern day presidential lawsuit.
(Via the New York Times)