Trump wants his election-based federal charges to be heard in a different state, like West Virginia. Experts say that isn’t going to happen.

  • Trump was federally indicted on Tuesday related to an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
  • His case will be heard by a judge and jury in Washington, DC.
  • Trump is now trying to get the case moved to another state, like West Virginia. It’s unlikely to work.

After a federal grand jury in Washington, DC indicted former President Donald Trump on Tuesday with charges related his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, Trump and his legal team are arguing his case should be moved away from the nation’s capital. Legal experts told Insider it won’t work.

On Thursday, hours before his arraignment, the 45th president took to Truth Social to complain about the location the charges were brought in.

“The latest Fake ‘case’ brought by Crooked Joe Biden & Deranged Jack Smith will hopefully be moved to an impartial Venue, such as the politically unbiased nearby State of West Virginia!” Trump wrote. “IMPOSSIBLE to get a fair trial in Washington, D.C., which is over 95% anti-Trump, & for which I have called for a Federal TAKEOVER in order to bring our Capital back to Greatness.”

Trump’s attorney, John Lauro, suggested similarly when appearing on “CBS Mornings” on Wednesday when he also said that the trial should be held in West Virginia, which he called the “political opposite of Washington, DC.” In the 2020 presidential election, Biden brought in 92 percent support in the District of Columbia compared to West Virginia, which Trump won with 69 percent support.

But legal experts told Insider the request won’t be granted by a federal judge.

“The case is so strong that I’m not sure that’s the appropriate jurisdictional limitation in any court in the galaxy or universe,” said Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute who acted as co-counsel during the first impeachment proceeding against Trump. “I have no concerns whatsoever about the defendant’s ability to get a fair trial in DC even if some political hay will be made of the matter. This is a defendant, who with his enablers and supporters, is gonna make political mischief no matter what.”

Ryan Goodman, a legal professor at the New York University School of Law, agreed with Eisen and said the legal theories espoused by Trump and his attorney to try and move the case out of Washington, DC, are “really bad” and “not even really a legal argument.”

“It’s not conceivable, I think, that the courts will decide that the case should be held in a different jurisdiction,” Goodman said to Insider. “The arguments that they’re making are not arguments that even have that register in legal vocabulary.”

As the Washington Post noted, it isn’t a random occurrence that Trump’s case will be heard in Washington, DC, given the crimes in question are alleged to have happened in the White House, squarely within the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. 

Trump is scheduled to be arraigned in Washington, DC, on Thursday in relation to the recent indictment.

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