UNITED STATES NEWS

In new challenge to indictment, Trump’s lawyers argue he had good basis to question election results

Nov 28, 2023, 6:21 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump had a “good faith” basis to question the results of the 2020 election, his lawyers said in demanding that prosecutors turn over any evidence related to voting irregularities and potential foreign interference in the contest won by Democrat Joe Biden.

A defense motion filed late Monday in federal court in Washington asserts that Trump was not obligated to accept at face value the judgments of government officials who found no widespread fraud in the election. It raises the prospect that foreign actors might have influenced the race and alleges that the federal government gave “false assurances” to the public about the security of the election that exceeded what was actually known.

“It was not unreasonable at the time, and certainly not criminal, for President Trump to disagree with officials now favored by the prosecution and to rely instead on the independent judgment that the American people elected him to use while leading the country,” the lawyers wrote.

The filing is the clearest indication yet that Trump’s lawyers are hoping to sow doubt before a jury in the legitimacy of the race or at make the case that his skepticism was justified and not motivated by criminal intent. The lawyers seek permission to force special counsel Jack Smith’s team to produce vast swaths of information that they say could aid his defense, including the “the impact of foreign influence” and “actual and attempted compromises of election infrastructure” as well as evidence of potential “political bias” that could have shaped the intelligence community’s assessment of the election.

Courts around the country and Trump’s own attorney general have found no evidence of fraud that could have affected the outcome, and the Homeland Security Department’s cybersecurity arm pronounced it “the most secure in American history.” Smith’s team alleges that Trump, a Republican, ignored all of those findings and launched an illegal plot to undo the election and block the peaceful transfer of power.

But the Trump team asserts in the 37-page filing that he had reason to question the results.

The motion recounts Russian efforts in 2016 to undermine confidence in that year’s election, though it glosses over the intelligence community’s assessment that Moscow had a “clear preference” for Trump over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

It also revisits the intelligence community’s effort in 2020 to discern potential interference by countries including Russia, China and Iran. It quotes from a Jan. 7, 2021 memo from John Ratcliffe, the then-director of national intelligence and a close Trump ally, that said China sought to influence the election. And it seeks information from prosecutors about a Russian cyberespionage campaign in 2019 and 2020 that affected numerous federal government agencies, saying that intrusion calls into question the confidence being expressed by officials at that time in the security of the election.

“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,” the motion states.

It goes on to say: “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.”

Defense lawyers are also seeking to force prosecutors to turn over documents related to the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, when pro-Trump loyalists stormed the building in a violent confrontation with police in an effort to disrupt the counting of electoral votes. The attorneys are looking in part for statements by prosecutors that they say could conflict with the Smith team’s assertion that Trump was responsible for the violence at the Capitol that day.

The Trump lawyers have already asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to dismiss the indictment, saying he is shielded from prosecution by presidential immunity and arguing that the charges violate his First Amendment rights. Those requests are still pending.

United States News

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

2 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience after spea...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins South Carolina GOP primary, beating Nikki Haley in her home state

Trump has now swept every contest that counted for Republican delegates, with wins already in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Why AP called South Carolina for Trump: Race call explained

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press declared Donald Trump the winner of the South Carolina primary as soon as polls closed on Saturday. The race call was based on a comprehensive survey of South Carolina Republican primary voters that showed him defeating Nikki Haley by wide margins in her home state. Declaring a winner as […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Former NFL player Richard Sherman arrested on suspicion of DUI, authorities in Washington state say

SEATTLE (AP) — Former NFL player Richard Sherman was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the Washington State Patrol. No other details about the arrest were immediately available, said Trooper Rick Johnson, a patrol spokesperson. A spokesperson for the King County Prosecutor’s Office said nothing had been sent to […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Lithium ion battery caused fatal fire in New York City apartment building, officials say

NEW YORK (AP) — A lithium ion battery sparked a fire that killed one person and injured 17 others at a New York City apartment building, fire officials said Saturday. Friday’s two-alarm fire began just after 2 p.m. on the third floor of a six-story building in Harlem. New York Police Department video shows firefighters […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Federal prosecutors accuse a New Mexico woman of fraud in oil and gas royalty case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico businesswoman is accused of defrauding the U.S. government and two Native American tribes of taxes and royalties due to them for oil and gas that her companies extracted from leased federal and tribal lands. Federal prosecutors announced this week that Teresa McCown recently was indicted by a grand […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

In new challenge to indictment, Trump’s lawyers argue he had good basis to question election results