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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
22 Jul 2023

NextImg:Trump Not Obligated to Appear Before Grand Jury: Attorney John Lauro

Former President Donald Trump is not obliged to appear before a grand jury in connection with the special counsel investigation of the 2020 presidential election, attorney John Lauro said on July 21.

“There’s no need to appear in front of any grand jury right now. President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong,” Mr. Lauro, who is representing Mr. Trump in the special counsel probe, told Fox News.

Mr. Lauro said the special prosecutor, whom he said served as part of the “Biden Justice Department,” is targeting the Republican front-runner amid a heated presidential election campaign.

“For the first time in our history, a sitting president is using the Department of Justice to go after a political opponent criminally while that political opponent is leading in the polls,” he told the news outlet.

Mr. Lauro remarked on the “interesting” timing, noting that his client received an invitation to appear before a grand jury in the same week that President Joe Biden was facing massive bribery allegations.

Earlier this week, Mr. Trump said that he received a letter on July 16 informing him that he is a target of the special counsel investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. He was given four days to report to a grand jury.

In a message posted on his social media platform, Truth Social, on July 18, the former president suggested that the short deadline may mean he would be arrested and indicted.

According to his attorney, the focus of the probe is related to Mr. Trump’s alleged efforts to obstruct the Jan. 6, 2021, election count and whether he engaged in any actions to intimidate people following his election loss.

“The only thing that President Trump asked is a pause in the counting so those seven contested states could either re-audit or recertify,” Mr. Lauro said. “I’ve never heard of anyone get indicted for asking for an audit.”

“That’s an example of really the criminal justice system use that is being used against the victim. Because here what the president was saying in real time after November is all these election discrepancies, all these unlawful acts at a state level… what he asked ultimately was to find out the truth,” he added.

Mr. Lauro stated that if he represents Mr. Trump in court, his representation would also encompass “the sovereign citizens of this country who deserve to hear the truth.” The attorney also mentioned that he intends to request that cameras be permitted in the courtroom.

Mr. Trump was charged earlier this year in connection to payments for a non-disclosure agreement in a state case in New York. He was later charged in a federal case in Miami in connection to his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House.

Crowds of people gather as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington DC. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

A massive crowd of Trump supporters gathered in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, at the behest of Mr. Trump to protest election irregularities. By that day, nearly every legal election challenge by Mr. Trump’s team had failed in the courts. After hearing Trump speak, the attendees started making their way to the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress was in the process of certifying Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. The ensuing breach of the Capitol briefly interrupted the Congressional session.

Democrats have framed the events of Jan. 6 as an “insurrection” and, beginning with the impeachment, have ceaselessly used the attacks to paint Republicans and Trump followers as extremists. Republicans, including Trump, immediately condemned the violence and vandalism and drew a distinction between the largely peaceful crowd of protesters and the small group which engaged in egregious lawbreaking.

More than 1,000 people from 25 states have been indicted on charges related to Jan. 6, according to data maintained by Look Ahead America. Some defendants were detained for more than 800 days before their trials.

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.