Late last week, Donald Trump attorney Alan Garten sent a cease and desist letter to a wealthy Florida businessman named Mike Fernandez. Fernandez had paid for an ad in the Miami Herald that described Trump as a " narcistic BULLYionaire." Garten threatened legal action against Fernandez -- a letter he also sent to James Robinson, the treasurer of Jeb Bush's Right to Rise leadership PAC. On Wednesday, Charlie Spies, the D.C. based counsel to Right to Rise, sent an absolutely amazing response letter to Garten. It, in all its glory, is below.It's an exceptional, fantastic response, which you really should read in its entirety, including gems such as "Should your client actually be elected Commander-in-Chief, will you be the one writing the cease and desist letters to Vladimir Putin, or will that be handled by outside counsel?" and "Although your client may think he is above the law and be accustomed to using lawsuits to bail out his failed business deals". But the part I really wanted to focus on was this passage (emboldening mine, as usual):
In addition, although RTR has no plans to produce any advertisements against your client, we are intrigued (but not surprised) by your continued efforts to silence critics of your client's campaign by employing litigious threats and bullying. Should your client actually be elected Commander-in-Chief, will you be the one writing the cease and desist letters to Vladimir Putin, or will that be handled by outside counsel? As a candidate for President, your client is a public figure and his campaign should, and will, be fact-checked. The ability to criticize a candidate's record, policies and matters of public importance lies at the heart of the First Amendment, as courts have repeatedly recognized. If you have the time between bankruptcy filings and editing reality show contracts, we urge you to flip through the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times v. Sullivan. If your client is so thin-skinned that he cannot handle his critics' presentation of his own public statements, policies and record to the voting public, and if such communications hurts his feelings, he is welcome to purchase airtime to defend his record. After all, a wall can be built around many things, but not around the First Amendment.Trump, you see, is not the only candidate to have problems with the First Amendment. Hillary Clinton has this thing about the Citizens United decision that completely tracks the Donald's problem — yet we hear not one word about it, because "corporations aren't people" or whatever fatuous excuse the left has for censorship this week. (In fact, she intends to make it a litmus test for future Supreme Court nominees, which would mean New York Times v. Sullivan was wrongly decided.) It's no surprise that Clinton's friends at the New York Times and its old-school print brethren have been so opposed to Citizens United; they got their carve-out that made them immune to McCain-Feingold, thus enabling a form of press cartel. It's exactly the sort of thing that will help keep a major party candidate on-message, limiting the number of outlets that can publish anything during an election cycle.
Trump is a dangerous fascist — and so is Hillary.