Trump attorney says Pence was asked to 'pause' 2020 election certification in an 'aspirational' way

Trump "asked him in an aspirational way. Asking is covered by the First Amendment," Lauro said.

Published: August 6, 2023 3:05pm

Trump attorney John Lauro said Sunday that then-President Donald Trump "asked" Mike Pence to pause the certification of the 2020 election results in an "aspirational way," which is protected by his right to free speech.

"Asking is aspirational. Asking is not action. It's core free speech. The press should be defending free speech in this case," Lauro said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

"What President Trump was doing is within the reality and the realm of free speech. He's asking his vice president, what about taking this course of action?" Lauro also said, adding that ultimately Pence rejected all proposals that were made.

"What President Trump did not do is direct Vice President Pence to do anything. He asked him in an aspirational way. Asking is covered by the First Amendment," he added.

Trump pleaded not guilty last week to four charges brought against him in the latest federal indictment related to his alleged attempts to challenge the 2020 presidential election.

The indictment states that Trump asked Pence multiple times to stop Congress from counting and certifying the Electoral College votes, as the vice president normally oversees the usually ceremonial process.

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on Twitter or Instagram.

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