Trump asked election investigator to ‘find the fraud’

Ashley Terrell

Trump reportedly told the official they’d be a ‘national hero’

President Donald Trump reportedly contacted the investigations chief for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office in December and asked him to “find the fraud,” according to a source familiar with the conversation.

The Washington Post reported that Trump placed a call to the official before Christmas, while an inquiry for claims of voter fraud in Cobb County was in progress. He reportedly told the official they’d be a “national hero” during the call.

Legal experts have expressed that Trump’s interference with an investigation could amount to obstruction of justice or other criminal violations.

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Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger launched an inquiry over claims that Cobb County election officials improperly accepted mail-in-ballots with signatures that didn’t match those on file. The results of the inquiry showed that those claims had no merit.

Since President-elect Joe Biden’s win during the election on Nov. 7, which was aided by his victory in Georgia, Trump has reached out to at least three government officials including Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to overturn the results.

On Friday, Raffensperger confirmed with The Washington Post that Trump called the office but said he didn’t know the specifics of the conversation with the lead elections investigator. He also expressed that it was inappropriate for Trump to interfere.

“That was an ongoing investigation. I don’t believe that an elected official should be involved in that process,” Raffensperger told The Washington Post.

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On social media, legal observers and critics noted the federal statute 52 U.S. Code 20511 that prohibits any person from “defrauding or attempting to defraud the residents of a state of a fair election through casting or tabulating ballots that the offender knows are materially false or fraudulent under state law.”

Eric Holder, former attorney general for the Obama Administration, tweeted on Jan. 3 in response to Trump’s leaked phone audio to Raffensperger: “As you listen to the tape consider this federal criminal statute.”

On Jan. 3, The Washington Post released an exclusive recording of the hour-long phone call between Trump and Raffensperger. Trump repeatedly urged his fellow Republican to “find 11,780 votes” needed to overturn Biden’s win.

“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated,” Trump told him.

Raffensperger replied, “Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.”

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