Recent court filings reveal new defense strategies aiming to absolve Trump of his responsibility for the Capitol attack, portraying him as a victim of disinformation and aggressive government investigators.
The former president and his legal team have so far been attempting to postpone the start of his trial, set to begin in March, until after the presidential election in November. It seems new strategies are now out to play.
Two court filings made in November last year have shed light on the potential defense arguments that Trump’s team will use before a jury. His lawyers plan to shine the spotlight on ‘biased’ federal government individuals, foreign influence, and election disinformation—all of which supposedly influenced Trump’s belief that the 2020 election was stolen.
Hand it over
Trump’s lawyers have already requested access to government documents, several of which are classified, in an attempt to prove that the former president couldn’t trust the results of the election.
In a 37-page filing, Trump’s lawyers wrote, “The Office cannot blame President Trump for public discord and distrust of the 2020 election results while refusing to turn over evidence that foreign actors stoked the very same flames that the Office identifies as inculpatory in the indictment.”
It continued, “The Office cannot rely on selected guidance and judgments by officials it favors from the Intelligence Community and law enforcement while ignoring evidence of political bias in those officials’ decision-making as well as cyberattacks and other interference, both actual and attempted, that targeted critical infrastructure and election facilities before, during, and after the 2020 election.”
The team refers to the Russian hack of SolarWinds, which compromised information at certain federal agencies at the end of 2020. Trump’s lawyers argue that the hack meant “there were reasonable concerns about the integrity of the election and the possibility of technical penetrations of election infrastructure.”
The Russian hoax
This claim follows years of Trump ironically denying that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, in which Trump beat Hillary Clinton. Trump also stated that even if there had been interference, it was irrelevant because he had rightfully won.
It’s not looking good
Despite Trump’s 180° switch-up, no evidence has been found that the SolarWinds attack is at all connected to the 2020 election, and after investigation, officials have found no proof of any widespread election fraud.
The former president’s legal team is also looking into how investigative agencies viewed his post-election actions, highlighting that Trump wasn’t charged until a special counsel was appointed at the end of 2022.
Allegations of bias
Trump’s lawyers went on to state that several law enforcement officers and members of intelligence agencies, who could well become witnesses in the trial, might be influenced by their ‘political bias’ against the ex-president.
The trial will likely explore whether Trump genuinely believed he could have won without the alleged widespread voter fraud, though the charges against him are proof enough that prosecutors have evidence of advisors warning him of his inability to win and that he continued to ignore the facts.
No place for politics
In a December court filing, prosecutors wrote, “The Court should not permit the defendant to turn the courtroom into a forum in which he propagates irrelevant disinformation, and should reject his attempt to inject politics into this proceeding. Evidence is not relevant upon a party’s mere say-so; it must be connected to the charges in the indictment or to a legitimate defense supported by sufficient evidence.”
A delay in justice
Trump continues to file appeals, which could delay the start of the trial—currently scheduled for March 4th. With the appellate court facing delays, the trial may end up being pushed back months.