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Donald Trump's History Of Crying "Rigged Election"

Submitted by Robin Messing on Thu, 12/28/2023 - 3:36pm

Donald Trump’s claim that the election was rigged is nothing new. He was making that claim even BEFORE the election. In fact, that’s been his schtick for years. Jack Smith has indicated that he plans to make Trump's history of crying "rigged election" a focus of his upcoming trial.

In addition to this intrinsic evidence of false statements about the 2020 election, the Government will offer evidence reflecting the defendant’s historical record of making such claims. For example, as early as November 2012, the defendant issued a public tweet making baseless claims that voting machines had switched votes from then-candidate Romney to then-candidate Obama. During the 2016 presidential campaign, the defendant claimed repeatedly with no basis, that there was widespread voter fraud—including through public statements and tweets (for instance, on October 17, 2016, tweeting, “Of course there is large scale fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!”). The defendant’s false claims about the 2012 and 2016 elections are admissible because they demonstrate the defendant’s common plan of falsely blaming fraud for election results he does not like, as well as his motive, intent, and plan to obstruct the certification of the 2020 election results and illegitimately retain power. . . .


To ensure the destabilizing impact of his widespread election fraud claims, in the run-up to the 2020 election, the defendant repeatedly refused to commit to a peaceful transition of presidential power if he lost the election. The Government will offer proof of this refusal as intrinsic evidence of the defendant’s criminal conspiracies because it shows his plan to remain in power at any cost—even in the face of potential violence. For instance, at a September 23, 2020, news conference the defendant was asked whether, “win, lose or draw in this election,” in light of “rioting in many cities across this country—red and—your so called red and blue states,” he would “commit to making sure there is a peaceful transferal of power after the election.” The defendant responded, “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster. And, and--”. A reporter interrupted the defendant and repeated, “I understand that, but people are rioting; do you commit to making sure there is a peaceful transferal of power?” The defendant responded, “I know. I know. We want to have—get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very trans—we’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it.”

Similarly, the Government will offer evidence that the defendant pursued the same strategy four years earlier, in 2016. In the presidential debate on October 19, 2016, the defendant was asked whether he would accept the results of that election, to which he responded that he would “look at it at the time.” The debate moderator followed up, “There is a tradition in this country— in fact, one of the prides of this country—is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner . . . and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?” The defendant responded, “What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?” The defendant’s consistent refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power, dating back to the 2016 presidential campaign, is admissible evidence of his plan to undermine the integrity of the presidential transition process when faced with the possibility of an election result that he would not like, as well as his motive, intent, and plan to interfere with the implementation of an election result with which he was not satisfied.

Let's dive deeper into the type of evidence that Smith might bring up at trial.

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