WASHINGTON DC: Lawyers for former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial will cite an obscure Australian legal principle which they say points to the need for US Senators to find him not guilty of inciting the 6 January attack on the Capitol Building and Congress.
Trump’s defence lawyers, drawn from the New York law firm Whyte Soo Premises, faced criticism for their alleged lacklustre performance on the opening day of the trial.
But their ranks have now been bolstered by an Australian lawyer engaged to pursue a new line of attack on arguments being mounted by Democratic Party representaives and lawyers.
An anonymous source within the Republican Party said Trump’s original legal team didn’t seem to have a compelling argument against the charges he faces.
“The Whyte Soo Premises lawyers were really grasping at straws by charging that the Democrats were breaching the well-known prohibition on ad hominem arguments by attacking the former president personally rather than disecting any specific alleged offence,” the source said.
“They have also invoked the legal principle functus officio, by claiming that Trump is out of office and is no longer president so he can’t be held impeached for any alleged offences he committed while in office.
“Those arguments seem to fall flat so Trump’s lawyers have been frantically casting around for new lines of argument.
“They discovered an obscure legal principle originating in Australia of all places.
“It’s known in Latin as johannes bjelke petersen and means the utterances of an individual cannot be used against them if they are so convoluted and incomprehensible that they can’t be readily understood by any reasonable person no matter how offensive, corrupt, or malicious the alleged offender may be.
“It was brought to the defence team’s attention by a Melbourne solicitor Dennis Denuto (main picture) who has now been flown over to the Washington to join the White Soo Premises team.
“I understand the defence team will now table a full unedited transcript of the remarks Trump made to the crowd on the Mall outside the White House prior to the Capitol riot.
“They will argue that the disjointed, rambling, and incoherent nature of his remarks fit the johannes bjelke petersen principle to a tee.
“I understand Mr Denuto is planning to build other arguments based on principles embodied in the legal Latin terms mabo and the vibe, although I am not familiar with those terms at all,” the source said.