Charges against ex-US President: Donald Trump mobs, his lawyer sweeps up the pieces

Donald Trump's famous saying of January 23, 2016 has proven to be an amazingly accurate prophecy time and time again.

Charges against ex-US President: Donald Trump mobs, his lawyer sweeps up the pieces

Donald Trump's famous saying of January 23, 2016 has proven to be an amazingly accurate prophecy time and time again. According to the then campaigning TV star, he could shoot someone in the street without losing a single voter. Now the ex-US President has not yet taken up arms, but he has an increasing number of other, very serious legal problems to deal with. But with each new indictment, his popularity ratings go up rather than down.

But the constant confirmation of his own assertion seems to have made Trump a little cocky. In any case, his lawyer John Lauro has his hands full sweeping up the numerous shards that his mandate is currently producing en masse.

Lauro went through five different TV stations on Sunday to give the latest indictment the right "spin". In other words: to defuse the allegations in the spirit of Trump. According to one charge, the ousted head of state is said to have tried to overturn the election results in order to remain in office. However, according to his defense attorney, this was merely an "ambitious" ambition, but by no means a crime. Loosely translated, that should probably mean something like this: Was worth a try.

Marching to the seat of parliament and fighting "whatever the hell" - that's what Donald Trump called out to his supporters on January 6, 2021, when Joe Biden's election victory was about to be confirmed. Thousands of radical Trump supporters then stormed the Capitol in Washington, killing five.

In Washington, Trump has to answer for this in a federal court and since the indictment was read out, he's been bullying on his social media channel "Truth Social" in a way that his lawyers don't like. For example, he wrote: "If you follow me, I will follow you." Even shrewd lawyers would find it difficult not to see this as a threat. John Lauro's TV marathon also had the purpose of smoothing out these waves as much as possible.

Because Jack Smith, who is leading the investigation in Washington against Donald Trump, interpreted the statement written in capital letters as a threat and immediately applied for a “protection order” from the court. This would ban the ex-head of state from using details and sensitive information from the trial in any way, for example to put pressure on witnesses or the jury. The Trump team responded promptly, stating that Trump's alleged threat referred to "political opponents" and was covered by free speech.

On Sunday, the now multiple defendant followed up and announced that he wanted to have the responsible federal judge Tanya Chutkan recalled for bias. With her he could "under no circumstances expect a fair trial", wrote Trump on "Truth Social". In the past, the lawyer has passed sentences against capitol stormers, all of which have resulted in prison sentences. In addition, in autumn 2021 she had to decide whether the ex-president had to hand over all documents related to January 6, 2021 to the investigators. The district judge had a clear opinion on this. Yes. Her statement culminated in the sentence: "Presidents are not kings."

In addition, Trump and his defense attorneys are trying to change the jurisdiction of Washington entirely. But John Lauro quickly dismissed the issue as well: no final decision had been made on this. A change is sought, but only after "a few surveys" and a "quantitative analysis". Apparently the team doesn't really trust the obligatory jury system. In the United States, a jury composed of ordinary people usually decides on guilt and innocence. The US capital is mostly inhabited by African Americans, most of whom vote for Democrats - not exactly Trump's political base. In fact, it cannot be ruled out that the jury might have reservations about the former head of state.

Attorney John Lauro reiterated his defense strategy during his appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. Asked about Trump's phone call with Georgia's election commissioner, whom he asked to "get the 11,780 missing votes," Lauro said it was just a challenging question. He explained the idea behind his defense strategy on the show using the example of the allegation that Trump put pressure on Vice President Mike Pence on January 6, 2021.

Shortly before the storming of the Capitol, Trump had asked Pence not to certify the presidential election. The deputy had rejected this with reference to a violation of the constitution. Lauro now said: "A technical violation of the constitution is not a violation of criminal law." Therefore, it is "simply wrong to claim that Trump pushed Pence" to break the law.

Many US lawyers do not believe that this kind of quibbling will work in court. In any case, Mike Pence sticks to his account of having been forced by Trump to violate the constitution. Ultimately, the jury in Washington will decide. Until then, John Lauro and the other defense attorneys can hope that their client will not aggravate the delicate matter with further taunting.

Sources: DPA, AFP, "New York Times",, Meet the Press