Donald Trump Seems Pretty Panicky About That Criminal Investigation in Georgia!
Donald Trump has a long, robust history of getting away with every shady, underhanded, wildly unethical, likely criminal thing he’s ever done in his life. Whether it’s stiffing contractors he owes money to, paying a porn star to keep quiet about their alleged affair, or inciting a violent riot in a botched attempt to overturn the results of an election he lost, the comeuppance that would befall other people never seems to come for the ex-president. But according to a former federal prosecutor, the guy’s luck may be running out thanks to the state of Georgia.
Over the weekend, Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, told MSNBC that Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis, who impaneled a special grand jury earlier this year, has wildly damning evidence on her hands re: Trump’s attempt to steal the 2020 Georgia vote. In order to indict the former president, Vance told Katie Phang, Willis needs “proof of the former president’s state of mind,” and, according to the ex-prosecutor, Willis may have it thanks to the recording of the phone call that took place on January 2, 2021, ahead of the official vote certification, in which Trump ordered Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to “find” him the exact number of votes necessary to win the state, despite the fact that he had actually lost. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state,” Trump told Raffensperger, before threatening to prosecute the local official for failing to follow through. That the then president was not “asking not for an investigation into potential voting fraud, not for a look to see whether something went wrong, but he’s asking” Raffensperger to “find him the specific number of votes that he needs,” Vance told Phang is “pretty good evidence of criminal intent walking into it.”
As HuffPost notes, while Willis’s probe was initially launched in response to that very damning call, “the investigation has now been expanded into include possible racketeering and fraud linked to a number of efforts by Republicans to upend the election.” Raffensperger, who won his primary last week, is scheduled to testify before the grand jury on Thursday.
An analysis by the Brookings Institution released last year—which the Fulton County D.A.’s office has studied— concluded that Trump’s actions in Georgia put him at “substantial risk of possible state charges predicated on multiple crimes,” including “criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; intentional interference with performance of election duties; conspiracy to commit election fraud; criminal solicitation; and state RICO violations.” In an interview with The New York Times, Willis said, “Anything that is relevant to attempts to interfere with the Georgia election will be subject to review.… An investigation is like an onion. You never know. You pull something back, and then you find something else.”
Is Trump actually in legal peril? If his history is anything to go by, it’s hard to say yes, overwhelming evidence not withstanding. But he sure seems upset about Willis’s work, having bleated on Truth Social over the weekend: “The young, ambitious, Radical Left Democrat ‘Prosecutor’ from Georgia, who is presiding over one of the most Crime Ridden and Corrupt places in the USA, Fulton County, has put together a Grand Jury to investigate an absolutely ‘PERFECT’ phone call to the Secretary of State. Many lawyers, from both sides, were knowingly on the call. I also assumed it was taped. I called to fight a Rigged & Stolen Election, and they go after me instead of the people that Rigged and Stole it. God Bless America!”
At a rally in Texas in January, Trump similarly attacked Willis, along with two other Black prosecutors without mentioning any of the investigators by name, telling his supporters the Fulton County D.A., New York attorney general Letitia James, and Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg are “vicious, horrible people” and claiming “they’re racists and they’re very sick, they’re mentally sick.” Then he encouraged his followers to launch “the biggest protest we have ever had in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta, and elsewhere,” if “these radical racist vicious prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal,” a demand former prosecutors believe could “backfire legally” on him given it sounds a lot like an attempt to obstruct justice.
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In other Trump legal news…
New York A.G. Letitia James—who last week scored a victory when an appeals court ruled Trump, Ivanka, and Don Jr. must sit for under-oath depositions—is reportedly looking to expunge the Trump Organization from the face of the Earth. Per Insider: