Leaked Phone Call May Lead To Criminal Charges For Donald Trump


Garrett Duncan, Contributor

In a leaked phone call with Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia Secretary Of State, Donald Trump asked for a recount of votes and claimed that there was election fraud perpetrated in Georgia. Raffensperger disagreed and refused to recount the votes, believing that there was no fraud in the general election. The phone call lasted about an hour, and was a back-and-forth argument between the two. A full transcript of their conversation can be found at: New York Times.

Soon after the phone call was leaked, Democratic Congress members Ted Lieu and Cathleen Rice began to look for ways to sue Trump using the call. They asked FBI Director Christopher Wray if they could charge Trump with conspiracy to commit election crimes. They made it clear that they believed the phone call warranted charges, citing when Trump asked Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes”. They believe this was him trying to ask for votes that were not actually submitted, and therefore illegal. (NBC News)

U.S. Attorney Michael Bromwich stated in a tweet that what Trump said could violate 52 U.S. Code § 20511.  Code § 20511 does not allow “the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent” (Intelligencer News). Because Trump used words and phrases like, “That’s a criminal offense” and “It’s going to be very costly,”  he could be held to legal charges. Although he did not outright threaten Raffensperger, a lot of language he used was coercive and this could lead to serious charges.

So far people have called for criminal charges and some are ramping up for another impeachment. However, it seems Joe Biden might be in office before anyone has time to act. This will make it much more dangerous for Trump to face these charges.