• 75°

President Trump’s problems in Georgia

I voted for President Trump twice. Over the past four years, he has protected our nation, successfully appointed three excellent Supreme Court of the United States justices, and managed the economy very well. I would vote for him again.

However, as everyone knows, his primary weakness is unrestrained communication when he should be calm, collected and presidential.    

On Jan. 2, President Trump, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and advisors for both men met by phone to discuss the election. Allegedly, Trump repeatedly urged Raffensperger to uncover fraud that would change the state’s election results.

Raffensperger’s office announced earlier this week that it was opening a probe into President Donald Trump’s efforts to allegedly pressure Raffensperger to overturn the state’s election results.

Additionally, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis notified state officials that her office was opening an investigation into “attempts to influence” the election.

The results of this investigation will take months or years to obtain.

THE PHONE CALL

Many folks point to Trump’s statement to Raffensperger as proof that Trump was trying to “influence the election.”  He said, “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

While the word, “find” can be interpreted in many ways, President Trump did not mean that he wanted the votes to just be “created.” The reasoning behind this conclusion can be found by reading his many Twitter posts. He loves to communicate and sometimes sends messages that my grandmother would not have approved of. 

INVESTIGATION

The Georgia secretary of state’s office described the inquiry as “fact-finding and administrative.” A spokesman for the office said they opened the investigation after receiving a complaint from a George Washington University law professor.

Once the investigation is complete, the State Election Board will meet. The board can choose to dismiss the matter, assess a fine against Trump, or refer the matter to the state attorney general’s office or a county district attorney’s office. If that occurs, prosecutors will ultimately decide whether to bring criminal charges against Trump.

In the Fulton County investigation, Willis asked state officials — Raffensperger, Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Attorney General Chris Carr — to preserve documents related to the election.

Willis’ letter to the officials said that her office will look into “potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.” This likely means that Willis’ office will look into more than just the phone call, but also other attempts Trump made to persuade Georgia officials to overturn the election results.

WHAT CHARGES COULD HE FACE?

Since the call recording surfaced, there are three charges that Trump could face:

• Conspiracy to commit election fraud

• Criminal solicitation to commit election fraud

• Intentional interference with performance of election duties

However, if either of the investigations led to criminal charges, Trump would have a strong defense. Prosecutors would need to prove that Trump possessed a guilty mind or deliberate intent to commit a crime.

Trump will argue that he believed election fraud truly happened, like in other states, and that he was just trying to ensure that all ballots were appropriately counted. 

The reality is that vast amounts of Georgia taxpayer money will be spent on investigating a former president at a time when our country is bitterly divided. 

If America has a chance to thrive and move on, we need to focus on defeating COVID-19, boosting all sectors of the economy, and maintaining the best military in the world. 

Donald Trump is no longer the president. It is time to move forward.