"Future in the Past" expresses an idea or action that a person in retrospect thought might happen in the future regardless of the actual outcome. Liars often disguise their lies using "Future in the Past." When liars tell their stories, they transport themselves back in time and then describe what they would have done in the past, not what they actually did. Future in the Past gives the illusion of truth but, in fact, covers a lie.
The following excerpt from a legal deposition demonstrates the use of "Future in the Past."
Investigator: Tell me what you were doing just prior to the accident.
Driver: I was driving north on Main Street. I wanted to go to the supermarket so I had to change lanes. I would’ve looked in my rear view mirror, looked over my shoulder to check my blind spot, turned on my blinker, and changed lanes. The next thing I knew this car hit me.
The driver did not tell the investigator what he did. Using "Future in the Past," the driver told the investigator what he would have done in similar circumstances. The driver gave the investigator the illusion that he looked in his rear view mirror, that he looked over his shoulder to check his blind spot, that he turned on his turn signal, and that he changed lanes. This, in fact, is not what the driver actually did; he only described what he would have done. By using "Future in the Past," the driver was able to make it look like he safely changed lanes and the fault for the accident is with the other driver.