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Trump is ‘facing a criminal investigation into election interference in Fulton County, Georgia,’ after he called Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and demanded he ‘find 11,780 votes’
- Donald Trump may have violated at least three separate Georgia laws, particularly when he called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
- A member of the state’s election board is hoping for a referral by mid-February
- If Trump were charged by the Fulton County DA, it would not be within the bounds of a presidential pardon, instead needing one from the governor
- This is the second possible investigation into Trump that exceeds pardon power
Donald Trump may be facing an inquiry in Fulton County for his alleged attempt to interfere with the election there.
A criminal investigation is being considered by top prosecutors over whether or not Trump violated state law by attempting to overturn the election results.
Fani Willis, just elected to be the district attorney in Fulton County, is also considering the idea of hiring an outside person to oversee the investigation, according to the New York Times.
David Worley, a Democrat on the state’s election board, wants a referral made to the district attorney’s office by mid-February, which would automatically prompt an investigation.
New Fulton Country DA Fani Willis is considering starting an inquiry into Donald Trump
The center of the inquiry would be the January 2 call Trump made to Brad Raffensperger
The center of the inquiry is the phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger two weeks ago, in which Trump implored Raffensperger to ‘to find 11,780 votes.’
Raffensperger declined, dismissing Trump’s allegations of election fraud in the state.
‘It seems clearly there was a crime committed,’ said Joshua Morrison, a former senior assistant district attorney in Fulton County.
‘If you took the fact out that he is the president of the United States and look at the conduct of the call, it tracks the communication you might see in any drug case or organized crime case,’ said Michael J. Moore, a former attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
Willis previously made a statement where she referred to the call as being ‘disturbing’
If the election board chooses to debate making a referral, Raffensperger would likely need to recuse himself from being part of the decision, as he was on the other end of Trump’s call.
Trump also called Gov. Brian Kemp to call for a special legislative session and called a state investigator who he hoped would help find election fraud.
Willis previously released a statement about the call between Trump and Raffensperger.
If it reaches the point of charges, only Governor Brian Kemp could pardon Trump
Trump would be facing several charges in Georgia in regards to the calls he made to officials in the state, including criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and conspiracy
‘Like many Americans, I have found the news reports about the President’s telephone call with the Georgia Secretary of State disturbing,’ it said. ‘It is my understanding from news reports that a member of the State Election Board has requested that the Secretary’s Elections Division investigate the call, after which the Board can refer the case to my office and the state Attorney General.
‘As I promised Fulton County voters last year, as District Attorney, I will enforce the law without fear or favor. Anyone who commits a felony violation of Georgia law in my jurisdiction will be held accountable. Once the investigation is complete, this matter, like all matters, will be handled by our office based on the facts and the law.’
There are several state laws Trump may have violated in Georgia during the call, including criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, conspiracy, and intentional interference of election duties; the former two can be prosecuted as felonies.
If Trump were to be charged with any of the crimes, it would fall on the state to potentially issue him a pardon, not the president.
Trump is also facing an investigation in New York for financial fraud, which would fall out of the jurisdiction of any potential presidential pardon, should he be charged and convicted
Fani Willis won her August runoff in a landslide and assumed office on January 1, 2021
That possible responsibility would fall on Kemp, who has been attacked by Trump in recent weeks.
Trump is also being investigated in New York for criminal fraud in regards to his taxes, an offense that would also be beyond a president’s pardoning power.
Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud reached a fever pitch last Wednesday, when his supporters broke into the Capitol and threatened to delay the certification of the Electoral College tally.
Four rioters and one police officer died as a result of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.
Willis assumed office at the beginning of the new year after easily beating the incumbent Paul Howard in an August runoff. She’s best known for helping to convict 11 educators in standardized-test cheating scandal back in 2015.
She is the first female district attorney in Fulton County, which includes the city of Atlanta.
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