Trump’s lawyers have been developing a strategy to defend the former president in court if need be, according to internal communications obtained by Rolling Stone. Trump is aware of the defense plan and was briefed during at least two meetings this summer, the report said.
It has been obvious for months that the goal of the Democrat Jan. 6 congressional committee is to charge Trump in order to disqualify him from running for office. Several Democrats on the committee have admitted as much, and argued back in March that there is enough evidence to prove Trump was involved in a “conspiracy” against the U.S.
However, much of this conjecture was dismissed as hyperbole by Trump’s team – until former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified before the committee. Despite the fact that there are multiple errors with Hutchinson’s testimony, Trump’s team is worried Democrats will push the Justice Department to pursue the case.
“Members of the Trump legal team are quietly preparing, in the event charges are brought,” one person familiar with the situation said.
“It would be career malpractice not to. Do the president’s attorneys believe everything Cassidy said? No. … Do they think the Department of Justice would be wise to charge him? No.
“But we’ve gotten to a point where if you don’t think criminal charges are at least somewhat likely, you are not serving the president’s best interests.”
Two potential defense strategies include shifting blame from Trump to some of his former advisers who “should have or must have known better” yet gave him “some terrible advice” anyway, or arguing that Trump was well within his First Amendment rights to say and do as he did.