Trump’s Lawyer Argues Rhetoric is ‘Protected Speech’ in Bid to Dismiss Georgia Election Case

Attorneys representing Donald Trump are vigorously defending his actions and statements related to the 2020 election, asserting that his remarks questioning the election’s integrity constitute protected political speech under the First Amendment.

Presenting arguments in a Fulton County courtroom on Thursday, Trump’s legal team contended that the charges of election interference against the former president in Georgia should be dismissed.

It has been emphasized by Trump’s lawyer, Sadow that Trump’s comments in concern to the election were quintessential political speech, maintaining that such expression lies at the root of First Amendment protections.

Addressing Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee, Sadow argued that statements, comments, and expressive conduct of campaigning or elections are traditionally regarded as highly safeguarded forms of speech.

“I do not assume there is any query that statements, comment, speech, expressive behavior that offers with campaigning or elections have constantly been determined to be on the zenith of covered speech,” Sadow asserted, underscoring that even if Trump’s statements were proven false, they remain constitutionally protected as significant contributions to public discourse.

It was also countered by Shadow that there’s only reason it becomes unprotected in the opinion of the State is because they call it false.

In response, prosecutor Donald Wakeford vehemently contested this assertion, alleging that the former president’s speech was intricately woven into a conspiracy to commit crimes.

Trump's Lawyer Argues Rhetoric is 'Protected Speech' in Bid to Dismiss Georgia Election Case
Judge dismisses six counts against Trump and co-defendants; motions filed to dismiss the indictment. (Credits: Getty Images)

“It’s not just that he lied over and over and over again,” Wakeford argued. “It is that each of those was employed as part of criminal activity with criminal intentions.”

Characterizing Trump as a participant in a “criminal organization,” Wakeford contended that his speech was not shielded by the First Amendment because it was utilized to facilitate criminal acts.

“It’s not that the defendant has been hauled into a courtroom because the prosecution doesn’t like what he said,” Wakeford emphasized.

As per ABC reports, Wakeford argued that “What he is not allowed to do is employ his speech and his expression and his statements as part of a criminal conspiracy, to violate Georgia’s RICO statute, to impersonate public officers to file false documents, and to make false statements to the government.”

Likewise, it was contended by Wakeford that Trump’s motion to dismiss was premature. He also mentioned that it lacked sufficient grounds to warrant dismissing the indictment.

He also added “What we have heard here today is an attempt to rewrite the indictment to take out the parts that are inconvenient and only say, ‘Well, it’s all speech … and he was just a guy asking questions,” per the reports.

“All of this is an effort to get Your Honor not to look at the basic fact that this speech, this expression, all this activity is employed as part of a pattern of criminal conduct.”

The hearing in Fulton County, Georgia, signifies the first return to court for the involved parties since the unsuccessful disqualification attempt against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Along with several co-defendants, Trump was granted permission last week to appeal that decision.

Notably, Trump’s presence was not noticed in the proceedings.

Last August, Trump and 18 others pleaded not guilty to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment, alleging efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Subsequently, four defendants entered into plea deals, agreeing to testify against other defendants.

Trump's Lawyer Argues Rhetoric is 'Protected Speech' in Bid to Dismiss Georgia Election Case
Shafer’s attorneys contest flaws in the indictment, alleging compliance with legal advice; and seeking the removal of disputed phrases. (Credits: Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Judge McAfee dismissed six counts against Trump and his co-defendants, about soliciting the oath of a public officer, due to a technical flaw in the indictment.

Thursday’s hearing was convened to address three motions from Trump’s lawyers and co-defendant David Shafer regarding the dismissal of the indictment.

In their motion, Trump’s legal team asserts that the First Amendment safeguards the former president’s actions concerning the 2020 election, rendering the indictment “categorically invalid.”

“President Trump enjoys the same robust First Amendment rights as every other American,” argued Sadow in a filing.

“The indictment here does not merely criminalize conduct with an incidental impact on protected speech; instead, it directly targets core protected political speech and activity.”

“Every charge and overt act alleged against President Trump rests on core acts of political speech and advocacy that lie at the heart of the First Amendment,” the filing emphasized as per the CNN News.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing Shafer, the former Georgia Republican Party Chair, are poised to present two motions concerning purported flaws in the indictment.

It was contented by them that Shafer turned to endeavor to stick to legal advice when he participated in and prepared what had been referred to as “fake electors” following the 2020 election.

Shafer’s legal team also petitioned Judge McAfee to strike several phrases from the indictment, arguing that it is “riddled with conclusory legal assertions” — including terms which are like being “duly elected and qualified presidential electors, lawful electoral votes and false Electoral College votes.”

“Mr. Shafer is entitled to an Indictment perfect in form, setting forth all essential elements of the alleged offenses,” his lawyers asserted. “The prosecution’s Indictment falls woefully short of these standards.”

Michael Manua
Michael Manua
Michael, a seasoned market news expert with 29 years of experience, offers unparalleled insights into financial markets. At 61, he has a track record of providing accurate, impactful analyses, making him a trusted voice in financial journalism.
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