In recent developments surrounding the indictment against former President Donald Trump, his defense attorney, John Lauro, denies that Trump asked Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election results. Instead, Lauro claims that Trump only requested a “pause” in the vote certification process to allow states to investigate his baseless claims of election fraud, which had already been rejected by multiple courts. Lauro defended Trump’s actions as protected by his First Amendment rights in petitioning Pence to delay certification.
However, during a recent interview, Pence firmly rejected this account and stated that Trump seemed “convinced” as early as December that Pence had the power to reject or return votes. Pence emphasized that he had no authority to overturn the election and refused to comply with Trump’s demands. Pence’s role in certifying Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election makes him a central figure in the prosecution against Trump, who is accused of attempting to overturn the will of the voters.
The indictment outlines how Trump and his allies repeatedly spread lies about the election results in the two months following his loss and pressured Pence and state election officials to take action to help him remain in power. These efforts culminated in the violent storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to halt the certification process.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges related to this indictment. Separate charges against him include falsifying business records, improper handling of classified documents, and obstructing an investigation. Trump’s defense team plans to move the case from Washington, citing the desire for a more diverse jury. They also expressed support for televising the trial but dismissed the possibility of it concluding before the 2024 election.
Regarding the question of whether Trump can receive a fair trial in Washington, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, believes that jurors can be fair and expressed confidence in the American people’s ability to make impartial judgments.
As the legal proceedings continue, the prosecution has requested a protective order to limit Trump’s ability to publicly disclose information about the case. They argued that this order is necessary due to Trump’s history of posting about witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others involved in his legal matters. They specifically referenced a recent post on Trump’s Truth Social platform where he threatened retaliation against those who go after him.
Overall, this ongoing case highlights the conflicting narratives surrounding Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election and the legal battle that lies ahead.