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Giuliani Pretzel Logic Key to Trump Impeachment Defense

Donald Trump’s personal attorney is formulating some uniquely Rudy Giuliani-type legal theories as he prepares to defend the president in his upcoming impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. In a textbook illustration of pretzel logic, Giuliani says that he’s prepared to argue that Trump’s oft-repeated claims that voter fraud cost him the election did not constitute incitement to riot and insurrection if he can convince the Senate that they’re “true enough.”

In an interview with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Giuliani said, “They basically claimed that anytime [Trump] says voter fraud, voter fraud — or I do, or anybody else — we’re inciting to violence; that those words are fighting words because it’s totally untrue,” he said. “Well, if you can prove that it’s true, or at least true enough so it’s a legitimate viewpoint, then they are no longer fighting words.”

Giuliani also says that Trump and others, including him who urged the Trump rally crowd on Jan. 6 to engage in “trial by combat,” can’t be held responsible for the rioters storming the Capitol because there was a delay between the speeches and the attack.

(Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

“Basically, if [incitement] is going to happen, it’s got to happen right away,” he said. “You’d have to have people running out, you’d have to have people running out of that frozen speech, right up to the Capitol. And that’s basically, incitement,” Giuliani said. Factual point: many of the domestic terrorists were captured on video leaving before Trump’s speech ended to make the several block walk to the Capitol.

The former New York City mayor said he believes Trump should move to have the article of impeachment dismissed. If that doesn’t work, he says he doesn’t rule out having Trump testify during the Senate trial. “You always make that decision at the last minute,” Giuliani said. “As a lawyer, I wouldn’t be as strongly opposed to his testifying as I was” during Trump’s first impeachment trial.

If Giuliani is, in fact, taking the lead on Trump’s impeachment defense, it would be because the lawyers who argued on the president’s behalf in the first go-round, including White House counsel Pat Cipolllone and Jay Sekulow, have refused to sign up for this one.

Giuliani, who led the election challenge legal effort that lost more than 60 legal cases, was spotted at the White House on Saturday even though it’s been reported that Trump is refusing to pay his legal fees and travel expenses.



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