According to an analysis by the Washington Post's Aaron Blake, ongoing lawsuits and investigations into members of Donald Trump's inner circle -- as well as conspiracy-mongering conservatives -- are bringing them down to earth as the legal system takes a look at their claims and they lose court case after court case and, in some cases, face financial ruin.
Noting that the Donald Trump years coincided with the rise "... of the kind of extremist purveyors of conspiracy theories who were once given the cold shoulder in polite society," Blake claimed what was once on the fringes is now part of the mainstream where it receives greater scrutiny.
Writing, "Increasingly, though, a bit of a reckoning is taking place. Trump allies spouting wild, baseless theories and otherwise taking our political discourse down misinformation rabbit holes are confronting consequences in court or otherwise facing bona fide legal penalties for their actions," Blake used conservative provocateur Alex Jones as a prime example of a conservative pushing the envelope so far that it ends up in the courts with devastating results.
As the WaPo reported on Friday, " ....a judge ruled Jones was liable for all damages in lawsuits over his claims that the massacre of 20 schoolchildren and six others at Sandy Hook Elementary was a 'false flag" and a 'giant hoax.' The conspiracy theory has led to the harassment of the victims' families," adding, "Jones and his Infowars website's parent company were found to have 'intentionally disobeyed' the court by not turning over documents in such lawsuits. The ruling is what's known as a 'death penalty sanction,' which is highly unusual. The penalty is expected to be determined either by a hearing or a jury."
Add to that, is the parade of pro-Trump lawyers who attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election with unfounded claims that it was "stolen."
"Penalties have also increased in recent months for pro-Trump lawyers who launched ill-fated and specious claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election. Two pro-Trump lawyers in Colorado were ordered to pay the court costs for those they sued, with a judge labeling their case 'the stuff of which violent insurrections are made,'" Blake explained. "Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and other lawyers were also ordered to pay the other side's legal fees by a federal judge in Michigan — the requested amount is $204,000 — and could face other disciplinary measures too. The judge said the lawsuit they brought never bothered with the facts but instead "was about undermining the people's faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so.'"
Adding, "Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani had his law license suspended in New York and by the D.C. Court of Appeals for making similar allegations," he suggested, "Giuliani has shown few signs of slowing his roll on voter fraud allegations — despite his personal financial and legal problems. Jones too has continued to flood the Internet with his very distinct brand of entertainment even as the Sandy Hook lawsuits have dragged out over the years."
"The legal fees that the likes of Powell et al have been or will be forced to fork over will probably be relative drops in the bucket for them," he conceded before admitting, "...even as Powell has yet to make good on any of her promises and has effectively admitted in court to being a fabulist, there's still a media ecosystem and a constituency eager to lap up whatever she has to say. You might think at some point it would be sore about being sold a bill of goods; you'd be wrong."
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