Unfazed DOJ Dismisses Trump’s Claims of a ‘Stolen’ Election
In response to former President Donald Trump’s legal team’s recent claim that he was not guilty of inciting the violent insurrection at the Capitol due to his belief that the 2020 election was stolen, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has come out strongly against this defense. In a new filing, the DOJ argues that Trump's belief that the election was stolen "says nothing at all" about his culpability for the violent events that took place on January 6th. The government further writes that the language used in Trump's rally speech and messages posted online both before and after the riot were "notprotected by the First Amendment or insulated from criminal prosecutions by the President’s belief that the election was stolen.” Trump's rallies in the lead-up to the attack were filled with claims that the election was fraudulent, sparking the intense anger of his supporters. In his speech on the morning of the riot, he once again made false claims that the election was a "fraud" and that it had been "stolen". The DOJ maintains that these words were intended by Trump to encourage a violent uprising, and that the First Amendment does not provide cover for such a purpose. The filing further states that Trump's belief that the election was stolen is irrelevant and has no bearing on whether or not he incited the mob. Ultimately, the DOJ's argument is clear: regardless of Trump's beliefs about the election, his speech and statements still constituted incitement, and is therefore punishable by law. Trump's insistence that he is innocent based on his belief of a stolen election is simply not a defense according to the DOJ.