Dems tell FBI to open CRIMINAL probe into Trump call as Georgia Secretary of State admits he leaked chat

Dems tell FBI to open CRIMINAL probe into Trump call as Georgia Secretary of State admits he leaked chat

January 4, 2021

DEMOCRATS told the FBI to open a criminal probe into Donald Trump's bombshell call as Georgia's Secretary of State admitted he leaked the chat.

On the January 2 call, the president appeared to tell Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" additional votes after Joe Biden won the state by 13,000 ballots.

Two Democrats, Representatives Ted Lieu and Kathleen Rice, have since asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to investigate the phone call on Monday.

"As members of Congress and former prosecutors, we believe Donald Trump engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes," they wrote in a letter to Wray.

'We ask you to open an immediate criminal investigation into the president."

The leaked one-hour recording, published by the Washington Post, has also prompted fresh calls for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to impeach Trump.

Among those calling for the legal move are Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

On Sunday, AOC said that the outgoing president should be "quickly" sanctioned.

"I absolutely think it's an impeachable offence, and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly, but he, I mean, he is trying to — he is attacking our very election. He's attacking our very election," the New York Congresswoman said.

Fellow "squad" member Omar also shared her thoughts in a tweet last night.

"This is clearly an impeachable offense and I believe there is nothing under the law giving Trump immunity from criminal process and indictment for this conduct, "she wrote. "The law and order party is a farce."

The call from Trump may have violated laws that prohibit interference in federal or state elections, however lawyers said it would be difficult to pursue a charge, according to the New York Times.

An Atlanta criminal defense lawyer, Leigh Ann Webster, told the outlet: "It seems to me like what he did clearly violates Georgia statutes."

She went on to cite a law that makes it illegal for anyone who "solicits, requests, commands, importunes or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage" in election fraud.

However Republican election lawyer Matthew T Sanderson told the outlet that it was not clear that Trump broke the law.

Despite the outgoing president saying Raffensperger might face legal consequences, Trump did not say he would follow through on the threat himself.

"You know what they did and you’re not reporting it," Trump said claiming that there had been election fraud.

"That’s a criminal — that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. And that’s a big risk."

Sanderson told the outlet: "Ultimately, I doubt this is behavior that would be prosecuted."

However, Republican party officials say Potus is taking legal action after the conversation was recorded and published without his consent, WXIA-TV reported.

On Monday, Politco reported that Raffensperger's advisers recorded the call, with one of them saying that "it's nice to have something like this, hard evidence, to dispute whatever he’s claiming about the secretary."

Republican Party chair David Shafer tweeted that Trump "has filed two lawsuits – federal and state – against @GaSecofState. "

He added: "The telephone conference call @GaSecofState secretly recorded was a ‘confidential settlement discussion’ of that litigation, which is still pending."

Both Georgia and Washington DC have one-party consent laws, meaning someone who is party to a conversation does not need consent from the other participant of a phone call to record them.

However, Shafer claimed that the audio published by the Washington Post “omits the stipulation that all discussions were for the purpose of settling litigation and confidential under federal and state law.”

It remains unclear who recorded the audio and how it was provided to the outlet before its publication.

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