Former President Donald Trump’s attorney John Lauro insisted Sunday that former Vice President Mike Pence, who Trump lambasted on his social media page this weekend, will eventually be “one of our best witnesses” if the prosecution puts him on the stand during Trump’s trial on the 2020 election.
“I read his book very carefully, and if he testifies consistent with his book, then President Trump will be acquitted,” Lauro said on ABC News’s “This Week.”
Pence, Lauro said, “recognizes that John Eastman, who was giving [Trump] legal advice, was a renowned legal scholar. Number two, Vice President Pence recognized that there were discrepancies and fraud in connection with the election. He wanted it to be debated on Capitol Hill. Mr. Trump wanted it to be debated in the state legislatures.”
But still, based on what Pence will say, “the government will never be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that President Trump had corrupt or criminal intent, and that’s what this case is about.”
Pence said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he has no plans to testify in the trial, but did not rule out testifying as a prosecution witness against Trump.
“People can be confident we’ll obey the law, we’ll respond to the call of law if it comes, and we’ll just tell the truth,” said Pence, a candidate against Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
The indictment against Trump refers to a Jan. 1, 2021 phone call, when he berated Pence for not participating in plans to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, as well as calls protesters made at the Capitol on Jan. 6 to kill the vice president.
Trump, meanwhile, laid into Pence on his social media page Saturday night, saying that “Liddle’ Mike Pence, a man who was about to be ousted as Governor Indiana until I came along and made him V.P., has gone to the Dark Side,” Trump said in a Truth Social post.
“I never told a newly emboldened (not based on his 2% poll numbers!) Pence to put me above the Constitution, or that Mike was ‘too honest,'” Trump added on the post. “He’s delusional, and now he wants to show he’s a tough guy.”
But Lauro insisted in another interview, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that Pence and Trump “saw that they had 10 million votes more than they had in 2016.”
“They also saw that Joe Biden outperformed Hillary Clinton by 15 million votes even though she was an inspirational candidate and Joe Biden was sitting at home in his basement,” he claimed. “They also saw that President Trump won almost all of the disputed counties. In addition, they had over 1,000 people come forward and under oath say that there were discrepancies in the election…[they saw] that the rules of the game had been changed by local electoral officials. It was over and it was a peaceful transition of power.”
Show host Chuck Todd, though, noted that Pence said Trump asked him to violate the Constitution.
“A technical violation of the constitution is not a violation of criminal law,” said Lauro. “That’s just plain wrong and to say that is contrary to decades of legal statute.”
Lauro also told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that Pence, an attorney, never told Trump that “I think what you’re doing is criminal.”
“You’ve been there in White House meetings,” he told Stephanopoulos, a senior adviser for policy and strategy under former President Bill Clinton.
“Not a meeting like that,” Stephanopoulos retorted.
“The ultimate option that Mr. Trump asked for, President Trump asked for at the ellipse speech was merely to pause the voting for a period of time to allow the state legislature,” said Lauro.
Meanwhile, Lauro said he “cannot wait” for his opportunity to cross-examine Pence, “because what he will do is completely eliminate any doubt” that Trump “firmly believed that the election irregularities had led to inappropriate results…I think if I asked him on cross-examination he will say it’s shocking that the Biden administration brought this as a criminal [case].”
Lauro also said Sunday it’s “impossible to say” if Trump will take the stand.
“If they put on Vice President Pence as a witness, I think the case will be dismissed after the government’s case,” said Lauro. “It’ll never come to a defense case because the government — the government really has no evidence of criminal intent. What they have to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, is that President Trump did not believe that this election had irregularities and improprieties. They have to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.”
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