CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers claimed in a Tuesday appearance on “Inside Politics” that the First Amendment does not protect an individual’s “right to lie.”
Host John King began by asking Rodgers about the brief that former President Donald Trump’s legal team filed Tuesday. King pointed out that the brief claimed the upcoming impeachment trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president. He also mentioned that the brief stated Trump has a First Amendment right to speak, so he can’t be held accountable for people attacking the Capitol after he held a rally. (RELATED: Impeachment-Supporting Republican Says Capitol Is ‘Walled Off’ Because People Can’t Be Trusted To Not ‘Try To Overrun It’)
“Yeah, those are wrong, and they are well countered by the very long brief the House filed earlier today,” Rodgers said. “You don’t have a First Amendment right to lie. You don’t have a First Amendment right to put people in danger. And he did both of those things.”
Rodger’s claim that the First Amendment does not protect the right to lie runs contrary to multiple Supreme Court decisions that have upheld the right to use false statements, with the exception of defamation.
Rodgers went on to say that the brief was “what was to be expected” and that it wasn’t surprising Trump’s defense team wasn’t able to come up with any “compelling arguments” in his defense.
“There was one thing actually that did surprise me, which is that he claims that because you can’t definitively prove whether or not the election results were valid, that he denies lying about them,” Rodgers continued. “So, that was a little bit of a surprise. You can definitely prove that. That has been done. But other than that, no real surprises here. And not a particularly good job.”
After her appearance, Rodgers clarified her comments on Twitter and admitted she was mistaken in her claims about the First Amendment saying, “That was wrong – obviously people can lie.”
That was wrong – obviously people can lie. I meant to say Trump has no 1st Am right to call for a crime to be committed (or to call for something dangerous). Sorry for the misstatement.
— Jennifer Rodgers (@JenGRodgers) February 2, 2021