Trump belief that 2020 election was stolen is not a defense, DOJ says
(waPo)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.
"Just as the president of a company may be guilty of fraud for using knowingly false statements of facts to defraud investors, even if he subjectively believes that his company will eventually succeed, the defendant may be guilty of using deceit to obstruct the government function by which the results of the presidential election are collected, counted, and certified, even if he provides evidence that he subjectively believed that the election was ‘rigged,’" the prosecutors wrote.