Joy Casino Ап Икс Mock Trial Newsletter: Is Trump Guilty in the January 6th Case? - Open to Debate

Mock Trial Newsletter: Is Trump Guilty in the January 6th Case?

Mock Trial: Is Trump Guilty in the January 6th Case?


Lanny Davis

Attorney and Former Presidential Advisor



Sara Azari

Criminal Defense Lawyer;

Legal Analyst for NewsNation



Randall Eliason

Former Chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia



Joel Cohen

Founder and CEO

of TalksOnLaw



Here is what we have in store this week:

  • Our first mock trial on whether former President Donald Trump conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election
  • A closer look at the Trump’s indictments and whether Americans think he should be charged
  • John Donvan offers a journalistic perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Your Sunday reading list



January 6th. The date is a flashpoint. In our history. In our culture. In the way it continues dividing us over the meaning of that day, and what led up to it.

Just in time for the third anniversary of the ignoble assault on the U.S. Capitol, we’re doing something new for us at Open to Debate: our first mock trial.

It’s a look ahead of the actual trial set to open later this year, where Trump is facing four federal charges accusing him of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Of course, our system starts from a presumption of a defendant’s innocence. The burden is on the government to prove Trump committed any crimes. And of course, he has a right to as robust a defense as his lawyers can deliver.

So what will that legal face-off look like? What arguments, laws, and precedents will each side be invoking and pressing?

We asked two prominent lawyers to help answer that question, one playing the part of the prosecutor, and the other arguing in defense. Each trying to win over the jury on Trump’s guilt or innocence.

In this mock trial, that jury is you. So I hope you’ll join in and do what juries do. Listen closely. Weigh the arguments. And then, make up your mind.






How will new evidence held by the federal government related to the January 6th case change opinions?




Is Trump Guilty in the January 6th Case?


YES: Lanny Davis

“You will hear testimony that Mr. Trump admitted to key witnesses that he knew he had lost, but you don’t have to depend on that testimony to decide he lied. The Supreme Court ruled that when someone denies facts in plain sight, you can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s being ‘willfully blind’ and he is lying. In other words, when he sees a black wall and repeatedly calls it white, you can conclude he’s lying… His own Attorney General, all his Justice Department officials, all the White House counsel, and 61 out of 61 state judges whom he brought cases to said no, there was no voter fraud. Being blind to what everybody tells you, without having a single fact to justify your position, can, by a reasonable doubt, lead to the conclusion you’re lying.”


NO: Sara Azari

“As you listen to the evidence, use your common sense and ask yourself: are there any statements by him that he knew what he was doing was wrong? Any emails acknowledging it was a scam? Any texts, private messages, or anything showing he was lying? Any witnesses who say they heard him acknowledge he was perpetrating some sort of fraud or scam? The government has no evidence of intent, so they claim willful blindness… The evidence shows that every step of the way, my client relied on the advice of his renowned constitutional lawyers and election experts. What the government calls a ‘fake election scheme’ is, in fact, a very legal and constitutional process that has been used in not one, but two contested U.S. elections. If it’s never been a crime before, it is not a crime now.”


John Donvan Examines Overlooked Hope in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Our host and moderator-in-chief John Donvan appeared on “Nightline” this week where he dived into ABC’s archive during his time as a reporter and correspondent. Reflecting on his experiences in Gaza during the 1990s and early 2000s, John highlights life in Gaza before Hamas governed there, in stark contrast with the war happening now. The segment, “The Forgotten Waves of Hope in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” is available to watch now at ABC News.




How to make your charitable donations go further in 2024

Bjorn Lomborg | January 1, 2024

The Globe and Mail

Watch Bjorn’s debate on whether humans can adapt to climate change


The Virtues of Inauthenticity

John McWhorter | December 27, 2023

The New York Times

Watch John’s debate on whether free speech is threatened on campus


Education Should Focus on Stopping Drug Use Before It Starts

Kevin Sabet | December 21, 2023


Watch Kevin’s debate on whether we should legalize psychedelics


Scientists are on the verge of a male birth-control pill. Will men take it?

Jill Filipovic | December 18, 2023

The Guardian

Watch Jill’s debate on whether Millennials will be left behind

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