Assessing the Trump Defense: A Preliminary Examination

The article discusses the defense arguments previewed by Donald Trump’s new defense counsel, John Lauro, in the Jan. 6 case. Lauro presents four key components of Trump’s defense: first, that Trump genuinely believed he won the election, implying no corrupt intent; second, Trump’s actions were protected under the First Amendment, emphasizing political speech and petitioning; third, Trump was acting on advice of counsel, including constitutional discussions; and fourth, a potential argument of presidential immunity. The article examines the plausibility of these defenses, especially focusing on the First Amendment argument and whether Trump’s intent was corrupt. It also considers the impact of Trump’s reliance on counsel, and how these defenses might fare before a jury. Overall, the article highlights that while these defenses may not be individually strong, they could gain strength in combination and emphasize the importance of Trump’s intent as a crucial factor in the trial.

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