Special counsel prosecutors said Monday they plan to show at trial that Donald Trump lied repeatedly about the results of the 2020 election as part of a conspiracy to subvert the legitimate results. But they also said they don’t need to prove whether Trump believed he lost the race.
Legal experts have debated the importance of Trump’s state of mind in his federal election subversion case in D.C., with some arguing that to win a conviction the government must pin down the true beliefs of a politician who amassed a long record of making false or misleading claims while president. The Justice Department weighed in on the debate for the first time, saying that what they need to prove is not that Trump believed the “Big Lie” of the election being stolen but that he knowingly spread associated lies in a criminal scheme to stay in power.
Lies will be key to special counsel Jack Smith’s case, as the government indicated by using “deceit” 46 times in the 79-page filing, including saying Trump is guilty of “perpetrating an unprecedented campaign of deceit to attack” the election, Congress’s certification of the vote, and Americans rights to have their votes counted. [Continue reading…]