Now that special counsel Robert Mueller has worked his way up the chain to President Donald Trump in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, the term “perjury trap” has come into public awareness.
At first glance, it sounds like a useful tool when it comes to charging Trump with a crime of some sort. It isn’t.
Perjury trap is a term that has a few meanings. One definition is when a witness is afraid that a simple memory lapse or wording mistake will lead to a charge of perjury. Of course, this rarely happens, because perjury, or lying under oath, has to be done willfully or with malice.
The term also can be used when a person does commit perjury, but out of fear that a person they implicate is a bigger threat than that of committing perjury.
So why are Trump supporters like Rush Limbaugh and Roger Stone suddenly bringing this term into the zeitgeist? Because, for people who are unaware of the term’s meaning, “it represents the beginning of a political strategy to minimize and discredit any accusations that Mueller might ultimately lodge against Trump“.
In other words, if Trump is dumb enough to blatantly lie while giving testimony and is charged with perjury, his supporters will say that he was “trapped”, tricked into lying.
It won’t be true, since that isn’t what a perjury trap is, but his supporters aren’t known for caring to educate themselves about anything beyond what Fox News tells them, nor are they known for for caring more about the truth than the Republican spin.