So we are going to wade into the war on words between supporters of Trump and DeSantis. We will note that we respect all honest disagreements in relation to the primary. But truth is truth and when someone is being dishonest, we call it out—without fear or favor.
Today we are talking about when Laura Loomer went after Christina Pushaw, crediting Rebekah Jones as an honest broker. Loomer is an outspoken supporter of Trump. Pushaw has been the all-around press barracuda on the payroll of DeSantis or his campaign. They had been arguing on Twitter and, for some reason,this led to Loomer engaging in this ad hominem fallacy:
The attachment is cut off in the screenshot, but here it is:
Ms. Pushaw responded:
No – I do not have a criminal record.
Peace order from a leftist activist (ask Gaetz about Rebekah Jones) was frivolous and was immediately dismissed as soon as a judge heard the case.
Get better sources. pic.twitter.com/bdltj14oe0
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) May 27, 2023
Let’s start with something basic. Ms. Pushaw is right. She has no record. If you go right now to the Maryland Judiciary Case Search website and search for all cases involving a person with the last name of ‘Pushaw’ you will see this:
(enbiggen as necessary.)
That’s right, nothing. But the full story is a little more complicated.
To back up a little bit, Maryland has a terrible set of harassment statutes that is routinely read as applying to expression that is protected under the Constitution. We believe it is only a matter of time before they are struck down by the Supreme Court. To pick out one example, Md. Code Crim. L. § 3-803 prohibits harassment, defined in part as ‘a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other.’ There several other parts to the statute (with separate problems under the Constitution), but let’s focus on that.
In Coates v. Cincinnati, 402 U.S. 611 (1971), the Supreme Court confronted a statute that made it a crime for ‘three or more persons to assemble . . . on any of the sidewalks . . . and there conduct themselves in a manner annoying to persons passing by . . . .’ The Supreme Court said that the term ‘annoying’ was so vague it violated the Fifth Amendment (which guarantees due process) because it gave the potential criminal no effective notice of what is criminal:
Conduct that annoys some people does not annoy others. Thus, the ordinance is vague, not in the sense that it requires a person to conform his conduct to an imprecise but comprehensible normative standard, but rather in the sense that no standard of conduct is specified at all. As a result, ‘men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning.’
(Citation removed.) The idea is that a person should be able to open the statute books and have half a chance of figuring out what the law says for themselves—and if they don’t have such a chance, it violates the Fifth Amendment.
Indeed, the Supreme Court also pointed out that it violated the First Amendment, too:
The First and Fourteenth Amendments do not permit a State to make criminal the exercise of the right of assembly simply because its exercise may be ‘annoying’ to some people. If this were not the rule, the right of the people to gather in public places for social or political purposes would be continually subject to summary suspension through the good-faith enforcement of a prohibition against annoying conduct. And such a prohibition, in addition, contains an obvious invitation to discriminatory enforcement against those whose association together is ‘annoying’ because their ideas, their lifestyle, or their physical appearance is resented by the majority of their fellow citizens.
(Footnotes omitted.) Well, the majority of their fellow citizens or even just one in this case. And of courses if a prohibition on annoyance violates the First Amendment’s right of assembly, then it violates the right to freedom of expression, too. And adding the word ‘seriously’ doesn’t fix the problem—if a person can’t figure out what is annoying, how can they figure out if it is seriously annoying?
But this blatantly unconstitutional statute is among one of many that can support what is known as a peace order, which is basically a restraining order. In other words, you can get such an order because allegedly this person is violating this criminal statute and then the case is decided initially by a District Court—basically a small claims court, as though Freedom of Expression was a small claim. And in all frankness, these courts hand out these orders like they are candy—especially in Montgomery County—often only paying lip service to the law or the First Amendment.
That’s what Rebekah Jones did. She ran to the court to get a peace order against Ms. Pushaw, claiming harassment. In fact, it was what was called an ‘interim peace order,’ so that meant that Ms. Pushaw didn’t even have an opportunity to defend herself. Charles C.W. Cooke explained what happened here:
— National Review (@NRO) August 13, 2021
From the article:
It’s a little complicated (so if you want a full understanding, click through), but the gist is that, angered by Pushaw writing a piece about her lies, Jones took out an interim restraining order against Pushaw in Maryland, and, before that order had even been reviewed by the courts, filed a second claim alleging that it had been violated.
In fact, what Jones did was she filed for criminal charges on the theory that Ms. Pushaw violated the order the day after Jones got her peace order. As is often the case, violating such an order is a crime. You see, as if all of it wasn’t bad enough, Maryland has a citizen’s complaint system where any person with an ax to grind can go to the commissioner and file any charges they want. As long as they tell a story that amounts to a crime, the charges get filed. Have you ever heard that a district attorney can indict a ham sandwich? Well, the legal standard is not even that high for these complaints. To give one example of how they flout the requirements of probable cause (which is not a very high standard), they not only don’t require collaborating evidence: They refuse to consider such evidence when offered.
To see how this could be a problem consider this: One element of the crime of violation of a peace order is that the person subject to the order had to have been served with it. In other words, you can’t be charged with violating an order unless it can be proven you are aware of it, in its entirety. That reportedly didn’t happen in that case—hardly a surprise, since the order was handed down the day before. If the commissioner required proof of service, he or she might have figured out that there was no basis to charge Ms. Pushaw.
Eventually, there was a final peace order hearing where Ms. Pushaw was allowed to defend herself and Ms. Jones’ claims fell apart. From Mr. Cooke’s article:
Because the grounds for the original order were utterly ridiculous, the court dismissed it for lack of evidence, but, for long and boring bureaucratic reasons, it didn’t dismiss the secondary claim — even though that claim had been rendered moot by the dismissal of the order on which it was based (and was set to drop off the docket the moment it was addressed). Aware that most people wouldn’t understand the minute details of all this, Rebekah Jones then spent months pretending that there was an open criminal charge against Pushaw — which, of course, there was not.
This morning [August 13, 2021], the District Court of Maryland nixed the secondary case — just as it was always going to — on the obvious grounds that Pushaw cannot have violated a restraining order that had been dismissed for lack of evidence (and, as it turns out, that she hadn’t even seen). And, at long last, the saga was over.
And let’s not forget that, according to Cooke, all of this was because Jones was ‘angered by Pushaw writing a piece about her lies.’ At the time all this was happening, Pushaw hadn’t joined the DeSantis team. She was just a reporter. This was retaliation against a reporter for writing a story Jones didn’t like.
And to circle back to the beginning, that leads us to today, where there are no records against Ms. Pushaw at all. The peace order and charges of violating the peace order were expunged because both were dismissed as meritless. It’s almost as if they didn’t happen—and legally, it’s pretty much exactly that way.
Therefore, Laura Loomer is wrong in this and Christina Pushaw is right. And Loomer was appropriately dragged:
How embarrassing to use admitted felon and habitual liar, Rebekah Jones, the Democrat who lost to @mattgaetz last year… as your “source.” She made false claims against me in 2021 that were DISMISSED immediately after a judge heard them. Receipt 🧾 https://t.co/OIGYCTrphE pic.twitter.com/s6ny4EWsCx
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) May 27, 2023
How embarrassing indeed.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) May 28, 2023
Oh good, at least there’s a Community Note to vote on.https://t.co/nCWfYmjdJ4
— Amygator 🐊 *not an actual alligator (@AmyA1A) May 27, 2023
It’s ridiculous that you’re having to deal with this along with all the other sick attacks.
— Lynx (@LibertyLynx) May 27, 2023
This is all too funny.
— MS (@officialmscia7) May 27, 2023
Laura Loomer is pushing Democrat conspiracy theories now. https://t.co/opVo6oL6sY
— Arda Turan (@SifchainM) May 27, 2023
One should always consider the possibility that a person you don’t agree with is telling the truth, especially when accusations of criminality is involved. However, rather than imply Pushaw had a criminal record without evidence, Ms. Loomer should done some Googling.
When you use Rebekah freaking Jones as a credible source in order to score cheap political points, you may want to take a step back and realize that you have completely lost the plot.
— Jacob👌 (@jsrrayburn) May 27, 2023
I thought you were a professional! How can you be this bad at investigating when you know good and well the protection order was denied in court?
— Grimme Outlook ⚛️🏴☠️🇺🇸✝️ (@Evilchemteacher) May 27, 2023
This is becoming disgusting and embarrassing. Quit attacking each other. You aren’t doing Republicans any good with all this infighting. https://t.co/gUclD2ZlCk
— Leigh🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@Leighincognito) May 28, 2023
Nothing to see here. Just Laura Loomer pedaling nutty conspiracy theories made up by Rebekah Jones, former Democratic congressional candidate.
Horseshoe theory and whatnot. https://t.co/lCBXfXoakW
— Will, supporter of those things you don’t like (@spudhawg) May 27, 2023
And then finally this:
I’m sorry to anyone I’ve ever made fun of for liking soap operas or reality TV shows.
— Fisch 🐟 (@LTfisch) May 27, 2023
Seems more like Jerry Springer to us, but there you go.
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