Donald Trump still believes he won the 2020 election and that he should be in the White House serving out the last year of his second term. Not Joe Biden.
The ‘I Really Believed It’ Defense
And, say political analysts, the embattled former president will likely use that as his defense in his upcoming indictment trials, including for allegedly trying to overturn the result of the 2020 election and block the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
It’s a legal defense strategy that’s not likely to work, however, note political analysts, pointing to the recent conviction of Paul Pelosi assaulter David DePape.
Decades Behind Bars
DePape is looking at a prison term of 50 years over the violent attack last year on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband at their home in San Francisco.
‘Innocent Because of Stupidity’
DePape had been attempting to kidnap the former speaker when he broke into her home, instead encountering her husband and launching a fierce attack on him with a hammer, the court heard. His defense, his lawyers said, was one of “innocence by reason of stupidity.”
Debunked Conspiracy Theory
DePape’s lawyers said he believed in a conspiracy that Trump had won the 2020 election because the vote was “rigged” — a claim the former president continues to make to this day. But legal challenges Trump mounted failed in court for lack of evidence.
MAGA Conspiracy Defense
Writing on the website Salon, journalist Amanda Marcotte said DePape relied on a MAGA — Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan and movement — conspiracy theory but it didn’t get him off what will surely be a decades-long spell behind bars.
Marcotte said that “conspiracy theories got DePape into this situation, and he hoped conspiracy theories would get him out. It didn’t work. The jury found DePape, whose far-right radicalization goes all the way back to Gamergate in 2014, guilty on all charges.”
Trump and Conspiracy Theories
She continued in her Salon commentary piece: “This ‘I believed a conspiracy theory’ defense shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Outside the courtroom, Trump and his acolytes have relied heavily on conspiracy theories to deflect blame for their role in inspiring DePape’s murderous rage.”
Trump’s Obama Conspiracy Theory
Saying that the former president “treats conspiracy theories as an all-purpose tool to get his way,” Marcotte referenced Trump’s equally false assertion that Barack Obama was not American when he was running for president.
‘Deep State’ Conspiracy
The writer said: “Trump has also been trying to use conspiracy theories the same DePape did, in hopes of wriggling out of his legal difficulties. Every single day, in every single utterance, he claims to be an innocent man targeted by an elaborate ‘deep state’ conspiracy to take him out.”
Likely Trump Court Backfire
She suggested Trump’s reliance on his false beliefs in court would most likely backfire, saying that in the case of DePape, it was “just the latest in a line of MAGA-inspired criminal defendants who have failed to get off the hook by depicting themselves as credulous idiots who believed the wrong people.”
Marcotte a ‘Political Hack’
Several people hit out online at Marcotte’s views in the article, essentially saying it was a hit job on Trump. One said on X, formerly called Twitter: “You call yourself a journalist? Journalism is dead! You’re nothing but a political hack! The only recent coup came in the form of the Russian collusion hoax, two bogus impeachments, the suppression of Hunter Biden’s laptop, and a stolen election! I bet you lied about all of that.”
Another declared to the journalist on X: “I’d vote for Trump just to annoy you, if for nothing else. Your meltdown is bliss — keep up the good work.”
Trump’s Legal Battles
Trump has been indicted twice over the 2020 election fallout, in Georgia and at federal level, and he has also been indicted for allegedly removing classified documents from the White House and storing them at his home in Florida. A fourth indictment alleges Trump paid hush money to a former adult film star so she wouldn’t talk about an alleged affair with him.
No Harm to 2024 Nominee Campaign
Trump’s legal problems are not affecting his chances of becoming the Republican Party nominee for the 2024 presidential election, however. Trump is the frontrunner in the GOP pack of rivals including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, with an approximate 50-point lead.
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