Steve Bannon publicly urges Donald Trump to turn his impeachment trial into a hearing on his discredited voter fraud claims despite Republicans fearing impact of days of evidence on MAGA riot
- Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is encouraging ex-President Donald Trump to turn his impeachment trial into a hearing on voter fraud
- ‘It has to be dramatic, it has to be big. It has to be the big lie versus the big steal,’ Bannon told Politico
- So far, Trump isn’t expected to testify and his lawyers want to push the argument that the impeachment is unconstitutional because Trump has left office
- Trump’s legal team want to avoid rehashing the events of January 6, which Bannon said could ‘smear’ Trump forever
- The former president has pushed his lawyers to speak about his unfounded widespread voter fraud claims, which motivated rioters to attack the Capitol
- Trump’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz told Politico that would be a terrible idea, saying he’ll lose GOP Senate votes if his team brings up voter fraud
‘He is not going to be convicted, so we must address November 3. And the best place to adjudicate this is the well of the U.S. Senate,’ Bannon told Politico in an interview published Friday. ‘It has to be dramatic, it has to be big. It has to be the big lie versus the big steal.’
As of now, Trump is not expected to testify, according to his spokesman Jason Miller, after Democratic impeachment manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, requested he do so under oath next week.
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon told Politico that former President Donald Trump should use his Senate impeachment trial to air his unfounded voter fraud claims and do so in a ‘dramatic’ fashion
President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial begins next week. Trump has declined to testify under oath and his lawyers want to argue that impeachment is unconstitutional since he’s already left office
Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, called Raskin’s ask a ‘public relations stunt’ in a letter they released publicly Thursday.
In the interview with Politico, Bannon doesn’t necessarily say Trump should testify before the Senate, but he doesn’t publicly talk his former boss out of it.
‘The Democrats have a very emotional and compelling case,’ Bannon told the publication. ‘They’re going to try to convict him in the eyes of the American people and smear him forever.’
The fear among Trump’s allies is that Democrats will play up the imagery of the deadly insurrection, where four rioters and one Capitol Police officer were killed at the scene or in the direct aftermath. Two officers and one participant have died since.
The House only impeached Trump on one article: incitement of an insurrection.
So far, Trump’s legal team has stuck to arguments about whether an ex-president can be impeached and that Trump’s speech – what he said at the ellipse in the lead-up to the MAGA riot – was protected under the First Amendment.
‘We don’t need to focus on January 6 because this is unconstitutional,’ one person familiar with the legal strategy told Politico. ‘There’s a lot of legal technical arguments that are going to be discussed.’
Another source told the publication that Trump’s lawyers want to keep the trial ‘short and sweet.’
But there were hiccups with Trump’s previous representation because the president was urging them to bring up his unfounded voter fraud claims.
Claims, which Democrats have dubbed ‘the big lie,’ which seemingly motivated those in the crowd to attack the Capitol.
With Bannon backing a strategy to bring up Trump’s view of what happened on election day – which has been thoroughly debunked by courts and state election officials – there’s a chance the ex-president’s lawyers could be overruled.
After a spectacular falling out with Trump, Bannon got back in his good graces – and even received a last-minute pardon from the president for charges stemming from misusing Trump supporters’ donations to build a portion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Alan Dershowitz, who was part of Trump’s legal team during his first impeachment trial, told Politico that bringing up election fraud would be a terrible idea.
‘He loses senators if he starts going into a defense of his claims on the election or his defense of his speech,’ Dershowitz said. ‘He’s better off if he allows his lawyers to make constitutional arguments under the First Amendment and the limitations of the Senate to try anyone who is no longer in office.’