DOJ Affirms: Trump’s Belief in Election Lie Is Irrelevant

Special counsel prosecutors announced on Monday their intention to reveal in court that former President Donald Trump repeatedly lied about the outcome of the 2020 election as part of a plot to undermine the legitimate results. While legal experts have debated whether Trump’s state of mind is crucial in his federal election subversion case in D.C., the Justice Department has clarified that it is not necessary to prove whether Trump genuinely believed he had lost the race. The prosecutors emphasized the significance of lies in their case, using the word “deceit” 46 times in their 79-page filing. They argue that they need to demonstrate that Trump knowingly spread false information in a criminal scheme to remain in power and obstruct the electoral process. The prosecutors intend to highlight specific false claims made by Trump and his unindicted co-conspirators, such as baseless allegations of voter fraud and rigging. They also plan to provide evidence of Trump’s obstruction of Congress by threatening a state official with prosecution and inciting the mob to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Trump’s attorneys argue that he had the right to reject information provided to him and express opposing views publicly and privately. The prosecutors contend that Trump’s awareness of the truth will be a matter for trial. The defense also asserts that Trump’s statements about the election are protected by the First Amendment, irrespective of their truth or falsehood. Prosecutors counter that the First Amendment does not shield individuals from prosecution for crimes committed via speech. Furthermore, they reject Trump’s claim that he cannot be charged after being impeached and acquitted, citing Alexander Hamilton’s notion that federal officers can still face prosecution according to the law. The prosecutors urge the judge to dismiss Trump’s defense claim of political persecution and to reject attempts to distance him from the violence in the Capitol on January 6, 2021, as he is not charged with incitement. They argue that the attack was the culmination of Trump’s criminal conspiracies to overturn the valid election results.


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