Trump 'can say whatever he wants' but 'acting on' false statements 'furthers a crime': former prosecutor

Trump 'can say whatever he wants' but 'acting on' false statements 'furthers a crime': former prosecutor
Former U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges supporters as the visits the Iowa State Fair on August 12, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images).

Editor's note: Indictment count corrected.

Former Federal of Investigation general counsel Andrew Weissman explained to MSNBC on Tuesday why Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis' forty-one-count indictment against ex-President Donald Trump and eighteen of his associates for allegedly attempting to overturn the 2020 election is not a violation of Trump's right to free speech.

Anchor Katy Tur wondered if, at trial, jurors could ask, "'Isn't it his right to, to try and invest and investigate stuff? Isn't it his right to say whatever he wants? Why is this criminal?'"

Weissman said that while "absolutely it is his right to say whatever he wants publicly, and matter of fact, the press conference that he is about to have" — even if it is total "fiction" — is "totally fine. That's what he's entitled to do."

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Weissman continued, "It's acting on it or speaking in a way that furthers a crime that is a problem. So for instance, the charges that are making a false statement or perjury, those are pure word crimes. Everybody under the Sun knows that that's a crime, and they're prosecuted every day of the week. So it doesn't even require action."

Watch the clip below or at this link.

MSNBC 08 15 2023 14 04

READ MORE: Trump crimes continued 'nearly eight months after' he left office, indictment reveals: analysis

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