Trump Calls for Recusal of Judge as His Lawyer Denies Pence’s 2020 Claims

Showing on 5 tv networks Sunday morning, a lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump argued that his actions within the effort to overturn the 2020 election fell in need of crimes and have been merely “aspirational.”

The remarks from his lawyer, John F. Lauro, got here as Mr. Trump was blanketing his social media platform, Fact Social, with posts suggesting that his authorized crew was going to hunt the recusal of Choose Tanya S. Chutkan, the federal decide overseeing the case, and attempt to transfer his trial out of Washington.

Along with his shopper going through fees carrying a long time in jail after a federal grand jury indicted Mr. Trump for his position in attempting to overturn the election, his third prison case this yr, Mr. Lauro appeared in interviews on CNN, ABC, Fox, NBC and CBS. He endeavored to defend Mr. Trump, together with towards proof that, as president, he pressured his vp, Mike Pence, to reject professional votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in favor of false electors pledged to Mr. Trump.

“What President Trump didn’t do is direct Vice President Pence to do anything,” Mr. Lauro stated on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He asked him in an aspirational way.”

Mr. Lauro used the identical protection on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” when requested about Mr. Trump’s now-infamous name to Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger. Throughout that decision, President Trump pressured Mr. Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” to win the state and recommended that Mr. Raffensperger might face prison repercussions if he didn’t.

“That was an aspirational ask,” Mr. Lauro stated.

His portrayal of Mr. Trump’s strategy is at odds with two key moments within the indictment.

In a single, prosecutors say that on Jan. 5, 2021, Mr. Trump met alone with Mr. Pence, who refused to do what Mr. Trump wished. When that occurred, the indictment says, “the defendant grew frustrated and told the Vice President that the defendant would have to publicly criticize him.”

Mr. Pence’s chief of employees, Marc Brief, then alerted the pinnacle of Mr. Pence’s Secret Service element, prosecutors stated.

That very same day, after The Instances reported that Mr. Pence had certainly advised Mr. Trump that he lacked the authority to do what Mr. Trump wished, the president issued a public assertion calling the report “fake news.” Based on the indictment, Mr. Trump additionally falsely asserted: “The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act.”

As Mr. Lauro made the rounds on all 5 Sunday information reveals — what is called the “full Ginsburg,” from when Monica Lewinsky’s lawyer, William Ginsburg, did the identical amid allegations about her affair with President Invoice Clinton — Mr. Trump waged his personal marketing campaign on Fact Social.

“WOW, it’s finally happened! Liddle’ Mike Pence, a man who was about to be ousted as Governor Indiana until I came along and made him V.P., has gone to the Dark Side,” Mr. Trump wrote on Saturday. A couple of days earlier, he mocked Mr. Pence, now a 2024 rival, for “attracting no crowds, enthusiasm or loyalty from people who, as a member of the Trump Administration, should be loving him.”

Mr. Trump went on: “I never told a newly emboldened (not based on his 2% poll numbers!) Pence to put me above the Constitution, or that Mike was ‘too honest.’”

His assault got here after a decide warned Mr. Trump towards intimidating witnesses and after prosecutors flagged one other Fact Social publish by Mr. Trump as doubtlessly threatening.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump additionally attacked Jack Smith, the particular counsel within the Jan. 6 case, and Consultant Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, calling Mr. Smith “deranged” and Ms. Pelosi “sick” and “demented.”

In a single all-caps message, Mr. Trump accused Mr. Smith of ready to carry the case till “right in the middle” of his election marketing campaign.

Within the different posts, Mr. Trump attacked Ms. Pelosi, the previous Home speaker, who lately stated that the previous president had appeared like “a scared puppy” earlier than his arraignment. “She is a sick & demented psycho who will someday live in HELL!” Mr. Trump wrote.

And he channeled his grievances with the courtroom course of towards Choose Chutkan and towards the inhabitants of Washington, D.C., writing that he would by no means get a “fair trial.”

For his half, Mr. Pence has been criticizing Mr. Trump’s actions in rigorously calibrated phrases. He has repeatedly used the identical phrases, arguing that anybody who “puts himself over the Constitution should never be president of the United States.” He repeated related strains on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” following Mr. Lauro’s look, and on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“What I want the American people to know is that President Trump was wrong then and he’s wrong now: that I had no right to overturn the election,” Mr. Pence advised the CNN anchor Dana Bash. “I had no right to reject or return votes, and that, by God’s grace, I did my duty under the Constitution of the United States, and I always will.”

Maggie Haberman and Alan Feuer contributed reporting.

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