Trump Could Face Prison Time in Georgia; Phone Calls Spur Two Different Prosecutors
President Donald Trump Could Face Time In Prison In Georgia
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 18, 2021) - President Donald Trump could face time in prison as a result of investigations by two different prosecutors in Georgia of two telephone calls he made to officials in an effort to change the electoral vote count - as reported by the New York Times and other major media outlets.
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David Worley, a member of the Georgia Board of Elections, said Saturday that he intends to make a motion to the Board, seeking an investigation of the calls, by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis - a referral which apparently, under Georgia law, automatically prompts a criminal investigation.
As the New York Times reported: "Mr. Worley said he would introduce the motion based on an outside complaint filed with the state election board by John F. Banzhaf III, a George Washington University law professor." Actually, this is the third complaint Banzhaf has filed in Georgia regarding telephone calls by Trump.
The times also noted that "the [Banzhaf] complaint was also sent . . . to Chris Carr, the Republican attorney general," who has concurrent jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute crimes related to interference with the election.
A Serious Threat To Trump's Liberty
These complaints represent a serious threat to Trump's liberty, says Banzhaf, because he could not be shielded by any presidential pardon, and "Fulton County, which encompasses much of Atlanta, is not friendly territory for Mr. Trump if he were to face a grand jury there."
Willis is reportedly already weighting whether to conduct a criminal investigation, including even hiring an outside legal assistant to oversee it. She has also warned, regarding Trump's two telephone calls, that "anyone who commits a felony violation of Georgia law in my jurisdiction will be held accountable.”
Also according to the Times, "Mr. Banzhaf and other legal experts say Mr. Trump’s calls may run afoul of at least three state criminal laws," two of which can be prosecuted as felonies: criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, a related conspiracy charge, and third law which bars 'intentional interference' with another person’s 'performance of election duties.' . . . Joshua Morrison, a former senior assistant district attorney in Fulton County who once worked closely with Ms. Willis, [said] “It seems clearly there was a crime committed.”
Some other Georgia prosecutors reportedly agreed, saying they believed the President had clearly violated state law.
Violation Of Georgia Laws
Banzhaf's complaint states that these telephone conversations "may have violated Georgia laws that make criminal the solicitation of election fraud, prohibit participating in a conspiracy against people exercising their civil rights, laws against bribery or interfering with an ongoing probe, as well as obstruction of justice, and/or violation of one or more of the following:
1. GA Code § 21-2-603 - Conspiracy to Commit Election Fraud
2. GA Code § 21-2-604 - Criminal Solicitation to Commit Election Fraud
3. GA Code § 21-2-597 - Intentional Interference With Performance of Election Duties"
The Banzhaf complaint also charges that "President Trump urged Georgia’s lead elections investigator to 'find the fraud' in a lengthy December phone call, saying the official would be a 'national hero,' according to an individual familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the conversation.
Trump placed the call to the investigations chief for the Georgia secretary of state’s office shortly before Christmas - while the individual was leading an inquiry into allegations of ballot fraud in Cobb County, in the suburbs of Atlanta, according to people familiar with the episode."
Change The Election Results
In a different telephone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Trump urged him to change the reported election results, saying, “There’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.”
Indeed, according to a transcript of the recorded call, Trump begged: "All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. . . . 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.”
Banzhaf, although best known for his antismoking activities, has filed successful complaints against other public figures, including former congressman Barney Frank, former congresswoman and vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, and Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby. In addition, he played a role in forcing former president Richard Nixon to resign his office.
Also, as the Times noted: "Three of [Banzhaf's] law students once brought a complaint that forced former Vice President Spiro Agnew to pay back to the state of Maryland money he had received as kickbacks."
Trump is also facing a criminal fraud inquiry into his finances by the Manhattan district attorney, so he faces possible time behind bar in at least two sates, notes Banzhaf.