The other day, we talked about John Rivello being arrested by federal authorities for the “crime” of tweeting a flashing, strobe effect gif at Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald. Apparently, that wasn’t enough, as today he was indicted by a grand jury down in Texas for the same act. That seems like overkill, even if you agree with the original indictment (which I don’t). But, that how things go when state prosecutors want a piece of the action.
The funny, or more accurately, terrifying aspect of the grand jury indictment is the way the gif itself was described…
This has to be a first: Texas grand jury's indictment of John Rivello describes a tweet containing a GIF as "a deadly weapon." pic.twitter.com/EBVdBpMVB3
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) March 20, 2017
That’s right, a gif is now classified as a deadly weapon. I think Mr. Heath is right, this has to be a first. I’m not even sure what one can say about such an absurdity. It’s pretty important that Rivello be acquitted on these federal and now state charges. For me, it’s a free speech issue. Also, I’m pretty sure Eichenwald is lying about having suffered a seizure in the first place, although I cannot prove it.
Hopefully a great defense attorney will. Help John Rivello secure one here, if you are so inclined.