Twitter has been used by President Trump to do everything from belittle his enemies to criticize the press (perhaps these are the same thing). It also may play a huge role in a prosecutor’s repertoire of evidence to ultimately help impeach or convict Trump and his staff of “high crimes” if that is the route they decide to take.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that Donald Trump has retained Marc Kasowitz as an outside attorney to help with the Russia investigations. Today, some of Kasowitz’s legal advice may be reflected in Trump’s latest tweets.
In what seems to be a chain of tweets that Trump may have thought up during a long, sleepless flight from Europe, it appears as though his tone has changed a bit. No, I’m not talking about his shameless verbal attacks on enemies and allies alike, or the fact that he seems to have a difficult time with grammar, but I am talking about the statements he releases through the social media platform, from a legal standpoint.
Three of this morning’s tweets stand out the most (see red-boxed-in text):
As you can see, Trump has done something he has never done before in his history of Twitter use. He uses “qualifiers” in his text. Before his overseas trip, he would have never had considered using phrases like, “it is very possible”, or “it is my opinion”. Instead, he would state his opinion as if they were proven facts and at the same time, his supporters would accept them as proven facts.
There is one problem with this though. When you state something as though they are facts, when it’s time for your day in court, it is much harder to escape your own words than if you put qualifiers before your statements. Qualifiers are a prosecutor’s nightmare when it comes to written or spoken speech. When stating that something is merely one’s opinion, that allows for reasonable doubt in the statement. The same obviously goes for when you put a qualifier such as “very possible” before a statement. This leaves open a reasonable assumption that the opposite could also be true.
While we don’t know for sure, it would certainly appear as though Trump now has a legal team reviewing his every tweet, or at the very least, he is taking their advice to never state opinions as facts on social media or in public speech. This may be the start of a “Lawyered up” Donald Trump — a Trump that we have not seen in the past.