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Trump’s Lawyer Spars With NBC Anchor Over DOJ’s Push To Trial Before Election

  Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer, John Lauro, sparred with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Wednesday over the Biden Department of Justice’s a...

 Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer, John Lauro, sparred with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Wednesday over the Biden Department of Justice’s attempt to push the trial on Trump’s latest indictment before the 2024 election.

Jack Smith announced Tuesday Trump has been indicted for his alleged attempt to interfere in the 2020 election and alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Trump was charged with “Conspiracy to defraud the United States,” “Conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the January 6 proceedings” and “A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.” 

Lauro joined “The Today Show” to discuss the latest indictment.

“The special counsel said yesterday he would like to see a speedy trial. That is 70 days from now. Are you ready to go? Would you like to see a speedy trial?” Guthrie asked.

“Well a speedy trial right is the defendant’s right, not the government’s right. We are entitled to understand what the charges are. We’re entitled to do our own investigation. The special counsel or the Justice Department, the Biden Justice Department, has had three years to investigate this. To take President Trump to trial in 90 days, of course, is absurd. The question is why do they want to do that? If you want to seek justice, then you need to offer President Trump an opportunity to get a hold of all the evidence nd understand what the facts are, “Lauro said.

“Well, I assume you are confident you can win this case–” Guthrie responded.

“Absolutely. We’re going to win,” Lauro said. 

“Would you, at a minimum, say you would like to see this resolved before the election?” Guthrie asked.

“I want to get to all the evidence.” Lauro said. “I want to have a chance to present our case to the jury. This is the first time the First Amendment has been criminalized. It is the first time a sitting president is attacking a political opponent on First Amendment grounds and basically making it criminal to state your position and to engage on political —”

“I have to give you a little time-out on that one–” Guthrie interjected. 

“We have never seen that before,” Lauro said.

“Well the indictment specifically says that the president has a First Amendment right to speech and even has the First Amendment right to lie. This indictment is criminalizing conduct, not speech,” Guthrie responded.

“No, it’s criminalizing speech,” Lauro shot back. “What the president saw in the 2020 election was all these irregularities going on, affidavits, sworn testimony, examples of instances where the rules were changed in the middle of the game. He had every right to comment on that and act politically. In a criminal case, what they would have to show is all of that speech was not entitled to First Amendment protection.” 

“But we’re not talking about speech,” Guthrie said. “It’s very explicit … It says he is being indicted for conduct using unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election. He says he can speak all day. He can’t engage in this conduct.”

“Of course you can take action in the political sphere,” Lauro responded. “For example, let’s say somebody opposes a law in Congress. Do a filibuster, right? That’s political speech. That’s political action. There’s nothing wrong with that. But what we have, we have something —”

“There is nothing wrong with the filibuster. There is something with wrong sending fake electors,” Guthrie interjected. 

“These weren’t fake electors. These were alternate electors which John Kennedy did in 1960. It was an exact protocol that was followed previously.”

“Different situation and the indictment alleges that some of these alternative electors, I’ll use your words, weren’t even aware. They thought this would only come up if there was a legitimate dispute in court,” Guthrie said.

“Absolutely and what President Trump had was an actual opinion of counsel that his request to Vice President Pence was completely lawful and completely constitutional,” Lauro said. “He also had many, many opinions of his own White House counsel saying that that was not legal,” Guthrie replied.

“No, you are entitled to believe and trust advice of counsel. You have one of the leading constitutional scholars in the United States, John Eastman, say to President Trump, this is a protocol you can follow, it’s legal. That eliminates criminal intent,” Lauro shot back.

“That is one lawyer. He had his White House c

ounsel saying that was not true, this is a fringe legal theory,” Guthrie said.  “You don’t have to count lawyers,” Lauro said. “Here’s the thing, though. The government in a criminal case has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt criminal intent and corrupt intent. They have to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that, number one, President Trump did not believe that all these irregularities were true. And, number two, that he did something to corruptly obstruct justice. They can’t prove that because everything he did was get at the truth. Filing lawsuits, asking for recounts, asking Vice President Pence, pause the counting so you can go back to the states and re-audit.”

The two then began sparring after Guthrie asked Trump’s legal team how much time they wanted before trial.

“How about he had three and a half years,” Lauro said. “Why don’t we make it equal, okay? The bottom line is that they have 60 federal agents working on this, 60 lawyers, all kinds of government personnel. And we get this indictment, and they want to go to trial in 90 days. Does that sound like justice to you?”

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