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Are Trump’s lawyers really going to make these legal arguments?

Sep 11, 2023

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Former President Donald Trump faced his fourth indictment, centered on his attempts to overturn his 2020 general election loss in Georgia, in August. Trump’s legal team is portraying this indictment as an assault on his freedom of speech, while prosecutors hold a different perspective.

Straight Arrow News contributor David Pakman questions whether Trump’s legal team understands that their arguments may not prevail in a courtroom, even if they succeed in shaping public opinion.

One of the arguments that has been made by Trump and his defenders is that the indictments are a violation of Trump’s First Amendment rights. He was merely saying, “I believe I won,” and that he believed that he won, and that they’re going after him for his speech. This may play well in the media. And indeed, if you go to events at which Trump supporters gather, you will often hear them parrot this notion: “Trump’s being indicted because of what he said, it’s a violation of his First Amendment rights.

The truth is that that is not why Trump is being indicted. In fact, the federal indictment from Jack Smith actually says on the first page — I believe it’s the third paragraph, but you can double check — it actually says, “Donald Trump has a right to say whatever he wants about the election. He can say that he won it, even if he didn’t.”

He’s allowed to lie about the election results. That’s not what is actually at issue here. It became criminal when he engaged in a conspiracy with others — in some cases across state lines, as the Georgia indictment says — to disenfranchise voters, by conspiring with fake electors and strong-arming elected officials to overturn results, et cetera.

Publicly, Trump says, They’re not letting me say what I want, I’m allowed to say I won, and I believe that I did.” That is not why Trump is being indicted. That is one example of an argument being made in the media that is not a valid legal argument.

I want to talk with you today about some of the arguments that are being made in the media. In other words, in the court of public opinion by the failed former President Donald Trump now twice impeached four times indicted civilly liable for rape. That’s the Donald Trump. I’m talking about some of the arguments that he and his associates have been making in the media that are not valid legal arguments, which really raises the question of, do they plan to make invalid legal arguments at trial? Or do they have one set of arguments that they make in the media compared to a completely different set of arguments that they’re going to be making during the actual trials? What What am I talking about? Let me make it really specific for you. For example, when it comes to the indictment,

from Jack Smith federally, and from Georgia, similar but different, but related to the attempts to fraudulently overturn election results. One of the arguments that has been made by Trump and his defenders is that the indictments are a violation of Trump’s first amendment rights. He was merely saying I believe I won, and that he believed that he won, and that they’re going after him for his speech. This may play well in the media. And indeed, if you go to events at which Trump supporters gather, you will often hear them parrot this notion Trump’s being he’s being indicted because of what he said it’s a violation of his first amendment rights. The truth is that that is not why Trump is being indicted. In fact, the federal indictment from Jack Smith actually says on the first page, I believe it’s the third paragraph, but you can double check. It actually says Donald Trump has a right to say whatever he wants about the election. He can say that he wanted even if he didn’t, he’s allowed to lie about the election results. That’s not what is actually at issue here. It became criminal when he engaged in a conspiracy with others, in some cases across state lines, as the Georgia indictment says, to disenfranchise voters, by conspiring with fake electors and strong arming elected officials to overturn results, etc. Publicly, Trump says they’re not letting me say what I want, I’m allowed to say I won, and I believe that I did. That is not why Trump is being indicted. That is one example of an argument being made in the media, that is not a valid legal argument. Secondly, there has been a big focus from Trump and people around him that the indictments are politically motivated in the sense that Joe Biden ordered them and thus, the entire prosecution’s should be discredited and should be stopped and canceled. Most importantly, we must remind ourselves, that there’s no evidence that Joe Biden had any involvement in these indictments. In fact, I would go further. Before the indictments came forward, there was concern that Merrick Garland wasn’t even going to have the willingness to allow the DOJ to really indict Trump, if that’s where the evidence pointed, but more importantly, there’s no evidence Joe Biden is involved at all. But importantly, these are not arguments that are going to be useful in a court of law. I assume Trump’s lawyers know that, but it’s not completely clear. Then we go to the documents case, the classified documents case, this is the first federal indictment, it’s hard to now keep all of them the first federal indictment refers to Donald Trump’s unwillingness to return and in fact obstruction to avoid returning classified documents that he had taken to mar a Lago. Donald Trump has insisted that he has a right to those based on the Presidential Records Act and his actions while he was president. That is playing really well, in the court of public opinion. He is saying that in the media regularly, his lawyer say that he had a right to declassify whatever he wanted. And even though he may not have or maybe he did, it’s not clear, none of this is criminal. This should be under the Presidential Records Act. That is not the way that the indictment has been put forward. These became criminal matters when Donald Trump conspired with others to obstruct the government’s ability to recover the documents. And in court. Every serious legal expert says if Trump tries that if Trump tries to argue this isn’t criminal, this is under the Presidential Records Act. It is not a defense to the indictment, and it simply will not work. There are lots of other examples, but these are the big ones. And the question that we are left with is whether Trump and the people around him realize these may be valuable defenses in the court of public opinion and in the media, but you’re going to lose with these in court,

or do they not realize that at all? And are they actually going to go to court and try to make these legal arguments you would think Serious Lawyers aren’t going to make invalid arguments in court for their high profile client. At the same time. Everything is unprecedented in the

era of Trump and so all we can do is wait and see

 

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