An attorney representing former President Donald Trump schooled a CNN host that the charges mentioned in the latest indictment against his client are protected under the Constitution and statutory law.

OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

John Lauro, a prominent Tampa-based lawyer representing the former president, has been a regular guest on cable TV, steadfastly defending Donald Trump against the Biden Justice Department’s attempts to charge him with alleged illegal obstruction related to the 2020 election.

During an interview Tuesday with CNN host Kaitlan Collins, Lauro engaged in a heated discussion, refuting her claim that Trump was not allowed to assert that fraud occurred if he knew it did not.

Lauro corrected her claim quickly, noting that free speech protects Trump’s right to express his opinions, even if they involve claims of election fraud.

“What was not true? That there were states where ballots were sent out without people asking for them? Where there were changes in verification? Where there were instances where ballots were not being supervised at drop-off places?” he said.

“The president was told, given advice, that under these circumstances, that state legislatures have the ultimate ability to qualify electors.” Lauro added.

“He followed that advice. Now you may disagree as to whether or not those things actually occurred or not. That’s why we have political debate. We don’t have criminal trials over that,” he added.

“It matters if those things occurred or not,” Collins insisted. “The First Amendment doesn’t allow the president of the United States to go and claim there was fraud when he was told there was not fraud and go and try to subvert the election by overturning legitimate electors,” she added.

But Lauro refuted her assertions.

“No, it doesn’t… The First Amendment protects all speech. If we’re going to have a situation where the Department of Justice is going to fact-check politicians and indict politicians for political speech and whether or not they’re factually accurate, then this country will shut down, politically,” he said.

“And that’s the risk of injecting politics into the criminal justice system,” he said, noting further that such a case opens President Joe Biden up to the potential for criminal charges “if people disagree with something he said during the election.”

In addition to invoking First Amendment protections, Lauro and the rest of Trump’s legal team plan to rely on statements the president made, urging his supporters to assemble peacefully on January 6, 2021.

They argue that these statements show he did not encourage or incite them to enter the Capitol building and disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes.

Special counsel Jack Smith, meanwhile, has charged the 45th president under a Civil War-era law, alleging treasonous behavior. However, Trump has publicly dismissed the charges as ridiculous and accused the prosecutor appointed by the Biden administration of conducting yet another “political hit job” against his main opponent in the upcoming election.


Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.