As Donald Trump is preparing for the impeachment trial, many of his advisors and supporters are urging him to seize the opportunity and use the trial to highlight his case for election fraud and strengthen his position for the fight for the Republican party.
A conservative radio show host John Fredericks urged Trump to come out with a strong political defense with election fraud front and center, not a “namby-pamby” legalistic defense.
“Democrats are doing this for one reason: destroy President Trump, destroy his ability to lead the movement, to run again in the future, to discredit his movement’s followers, and shame them into silence,” Fredericks said for the Washington Examiner. “The defense of unconstitutionality or the First Amendment doesn’t cut it.”
Sources claim that Steve Bannon might be the man behind that strategy. Bannon is a former advisor to Trump’s White House who had a falling out with the president in 2017. However, the pair has decided to settle their differences once Trump lost the election and the support of the Republican establishment. Bannon is also the confidant of John Fredericks, which supports the case that he is behind the strategy.
Democrat politicians are accusing Trump of inciting the crowd at the Jan. 6 rally in Washington outside the Capitol to confront the police and storm the building. One of the protesters was shot and killed by law enforcement during those protests.
“His conduct endangered the life of every single member of Congress, jeopardized the peaceful transition of power and line of succession, and compromised our national security,” they wrote in a lengthy impeachment brief against the president.
Republicans are claiming that the impeachment is unconstitutional and that president merely exercised his free speech. The arguments were collected in a memo circulated in the Republican National Committee. “The Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office—not as a tool to punish private citizens,” it wrote.
This decision was apparently seized by Bannon who decided to turn the impeachment in a battle for the Republican party. As the Republicans are expected to acquit the president in any case, Trump’s defense does not matter from a legal standpoint. What does matter is its political significance.
Therefore, Trump’s new legal team formulated a defense based on his first amendment rights that also involves election fraud.
“It is admitted that after the November election, the 45th President exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect, since with very few exceptions, under the convenient guise of Covid-19 pandemic ‘safeguards’ states election laws and procedures were changed by local politicians or judges without the necessary approvals from state legislatures,” they wrote.
After Trump’s previous legal team left him as they were unwilling to claim election fraud, Trump hastily gathered lawyers with far less scruples. His new lawyer David Schoen defended Roger Stone and was expected to represent Jeffrey Epstein before his death.
“I represented all sorts of reputed mobster figures: alleged head of Russian mafia in this country, Israeli mafia, and two Italian bosses, as well a guy the government claimed was the biggest mafioso in the world,” he told the Atlanta Jewish Times.
Bruce Castor, the second member of Trump’s legal team decided not to prosecute Bill Cosby for sexual assault against Andrea Constand as a district attorney in 2005. With a legal team like that, as well as with Bannon at his side again, it does look like Trump is going all-in once again. The question is, can he make a comeback?