senate parliamentarian

Trump’s Defense Lawyer Spins the Facts

John Lauro, one of former President Donald Trump’s lawyers, went on five Sunday talk shows to present a counternarrative to a federal indictment that accuses Trump of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to remain in office despite losing to Joe Biden in the 2020 election. In defending his client, Lauro made these false and misleading statements:

  • Lauro made a faulty comparison between random submissions of protest electors routinely sent to the Senate parliamentarian by some individuals with what the indictment says was Trump’s coordinated, seven-state effort to replace legal Biden electors with fraudulent Trump electors.
  • Lauro wrongly claimed that lawyer John Eastman did not say that having Vice President Mike Pence pause the certification of electoral votes for days would have violated the Electoral Count Act. In an email to Pence’s attorney, Eastman said the plan would be a “minor violation” of the law.
  • He also misrepresented private and public comments that Biden made about Trump to give the impression that Biden “put in motion a political prosecution” in order “to take” his political rival “out of the race” for president.

A federal grand jury indicted Trump Aug. 1 on four counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

The indictment alleges that Trump and six unnamed co-conspirators “used knowingly false claims of election fraud” to pressure his Justice Department, vice president and state officials in key states that he lost to help him overturn the election results and remain in power.

On Aug. 6, Lauro appeared on the Sunday talk shows to respond to the indictment.

Misleading Electoral College Comparison

In the United States, the Electoral College — not the popular vote — determines the winner of presidential elections. In 2016,

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