Donald Trump's lawyers filed a flurry of legal motions overnight to see the Justice Department's case against him over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election out of court or greatly reduced.
In four motions filed with Judge Tanya Chutkan, Trump's legal team made a bevy of arguments aimed at blocking or defeating his prosecution altogether. His attorneys argued for prosecutorial bias, insufficient evidence, improper procedure and even double jeopardy.
The motions came on a day that marked another blow to the former president's legal defense efforts: A fourth guilty plea, and the third by a member of his legal team, in Georgia where the state is prosecuting the Trump campaign's efforts to alter the results of the elections is on track.
Trump's lawyers argued in his federal case on Tuesday that Trump had already been tried and acquitted of his actions that led to the attack on Congress by thousands of his supporters, referring to the impeachment “trial” he faced in the Senate where Republican allies they rallied to him to protect him from punishment.
A second motion concerned Mr. Trump's First Amendment defense, as attorney John Lauro argued that all of Mr. Trump's personal initiatives and lobbying campaigns targeting state and federal lawmakers were simply examples of the candidate seeking “redress of grievances” from the government. None of the former president's efforts to coerce officials into actions would violate the law, Mr. Lauro argued, or cross the lines of protected speech.
Third, the former president's team argued that his Fifth Amendment rights to due process and against self-incrimination were violated because he was not warned that his above efforts could be construed as criminal action by the government—an inherently shaky argument. which tests the commonly held theory that ignorance of the law is no defense.
And finally, there is the matter of the alleged “Deep State” – Mr Trump's long-held belief (or conspiracy, depending on whether one believes his accusations are sincere) that Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are behind the impeachment of. Citing this oft-repeated claim, the Trump team argued that the Justice Department's effort against him was “purely political” given that he was finally indicted just as the 2024 Republican primaries began in earnest.
The moves together depict a legal team that seizes every opportunity and may well betray a desperation on the part of the defense.
Trump faces four charges in federal court for trying to change the 2020 election outcome, while he faces more than a dozen others in Fulton County, Georgia over the same issue. In other cases, he faces criminal charges for handling classified material, including documents related to US defense, as well as felony charges stemming from a 2016 hush-money scheme involving a porn star.
The former president remains adamant that he is innocent of any wrongdoing. On Tuesday, however, a member of his 2020 campaign legal team broke down in tears in a Georgia courtroom as she accused senior members of the Trump campaign and her legal team of misleading her with conspiracies about an election that ultimately wasn't. real ones.