Trump’s seven-year-old lies about Ted Cruz could crush his Jan. 6 defense: reporter

Trump’s seven-year-old lies about Ted Cruz could crush his Jan. 6 defense: reporter
Ted Cruz // Gage Skidmore

Many of Donald Trump's defenders have argued that the former president sincerely believed that the 2020 election was stolen from him, thus meaning that his false claims about the 2020 election could not have been part of a criminal conspiracy.

However, Semafor Washington Bureau Chief Benjy Sarlin believes that prosecutors have a strong rebuttal to this: Namely, that Trump has been claiming voter fraud whenever he has faced an electoral setback.

Specifically, Sarlin points out Trump's pattern of "not just crying fraud, but doing so every election, preemptively, with no consistency, in every possible setting at once."

While this approach has helped Trump from a political perspective in maintaining his hold on the Republican voter base, Sarlin argues that it plays out very differently in a legal setting.

READ MORE: Trump 'much more rattled' by Jan. 6 indictment than he's letting on: Maggie Haberman

"Legally, it sure looks like someone deliberately plotting to stay in power for years and either lying or willfully blind to anything that undermines that effort," he writes on Twitter. "People are talking about 'well, the pandemic stuff, the rules were different, lots of people had concerns.' Oh, the 2016 pandemic? The Iowa caucus pandemic?"

Sarlin's reference to the 2016 Iowa caucus came after Trump demanded that Cruz's win in Iowa be nullified based on completely unfounded allegations of "fraud" against the Texas Republican.

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