(NEW YORK)— PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel issued the following comment today about the legal assertion related to the First Amendment from Donald Trump’s lawyers: 

“Donald Trump’s legal team’s assertion of a First Amendment defense to four charges of felony conspiracy, including to defraud the United States and obstruct an official proceeding is as bogus and readily debunked as his charges of a stolen election.  The First Amendment does not protect a bank robber who says ‘stick ’em up’ or a kidnapper who writes a ransom note.  That words are used to commit a crime does not exonerate the perpetrator.  During his presidency Donald Trump was notorious for weaponizing the First Amendment to suit his political ends.  Now his team is contorting it beyond recognition in yet another spurious and self-serving scheme.”

Following the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot, Nossel argued that Trump should not be brought on incitement charges and that he was protected by the First Amendment. 

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more visit PEN.org 

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057