Donald Trump broke the law by pressuring a senior state politician to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s election win, a legal expert has claimed. Law Professor Anthony Michael Kreis said the president had committed criminal solicitation of election fraud in Georgia.
Kreis, who works at Georgia State University’s College of Law, explained: ‘The president asked, in no uncertain terms, the secretary of state to invent votes, to create votes that were not there.
‘Not only did he ask for that in terms of just overturning the specific margin that Joe Biden won by, but then said we needed one additional vote to secure victory in Georgia.’
Kreis spoke out after Trump’s Saturday call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was leaked to The Washington Post.
He also told Politico that if charged over the call, Trump would not be able to pardon himself, because he would be tried in a state court, rather than a federal one.
The incoherent, hour-long phone chat saw the president urge Raffensperger to find new votes that could help Trump reclaim the state from Joe Biden, even though Biden’s win there has already been checked and verified.
And Carl Bernstein – the famed reporter whose Watergate investigation brought down then-President Richard Nixon, called the leaked recording of Trump haranguing Raffensperger ‘the ultimate smoking gun tape.’
That recording saw President Trump pressure Raffensperger to try and find 11,780 votes for him – one more vote than the 11,779 ballots Joe Biden ultimately carried Georgia by.
Trump could be heard saying: ‘So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.
‘So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break…
‘There’s no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.’
Raffensperger was recorded pushing back against Trump’s assertions, saying: ‘Well, Mr President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.’
He also responded to a personal attack President Trump made on him on Twitter afterwards, answering: ‘Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true.’
The president has continued to challenge Biden’s win almost two months after he was called president-elect, on November 7.
His Democrat rival was his party’s first presidential candidate to win the traditionally-Republican state of Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Biden’s comfortable win over Trump – which does not hinge on the Georgia result – has since been certified by the US Electoral College.
A planned ceremonial certification of that result in the US Congress on Tuesday is set to be delayed by objections from Trump supporting representatives and senators.
Those objections will trigger a debate, but multiple legal attempts to overturn Biden’s win have already failed.
Biden is set to be inaugurated as president-elect on January 20.
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