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Georgia Criminal Investigation Clearly Catches Trump’s Attention

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As Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis requests a special grand jury to assist in his investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged election interference, the controversy is clearly catching the former president’s attention. I can say this with confidence because Trump, who has said very little about the issue for months, can’t help but talk about it anymore.

Here, for example, is a statement the former president released on Friday afternoon:

“So let me understand, I’m under investigation in Georgia for asking an attorney general along with numerous lawyers and other people knowingly on the phone to look for corruption, which certainly took place during the presidential election in Georgia, but the people who committed the crime are no shape, form or form being investigated and instead being protected?”

It’s an odd defense for a variety of reasons, but what’s particularly interesting is the apparent admission that he pressured the Georgia state attorney general to look for non-existent corruption. We knew Trump was under investigation for his lobbying efforts with Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, but Friday’s statement suggests the former president could face scrutiny for several calls.

It is also worth noting the sheer volume of related nonsense statements. A day earlier, Trump issued a separate press release that said in part:

“My phone call to the Secretary of State of Georgia was perfect, maybe even better than my call to the President of Ukraine, if that’s possible. I knew there were a lot of people on the line, including many lawyers on both sides. Although I assumed that the call may have been taped inappropriately, and possibly illegally, I was not informed. I did not say anything wrong in the call, made while I was President on behalf of the United States of America, to investigate the massive voter fraud that took place in Georgia… What this special civilian grand jury should look into is not my perfect phone call, but the large-scale voter fraud that took place in Georgia.

Just to briefly recap, Trump’s call with Raffensperger was anything but “perfect”; Trump’s call for extortion with Zelensky was literally an impenetrable offense; Raffensperger did nothing wrong by recording the conversation; and Trump had over a year to produce evidence of “massive voter fraud” in Georgia and he failed spectacularly.

A week earlier, the former president issued a different statement insisting he had secretly won Georgia, despite the reality. Days earlier, he added in another statement, “Where are all these votes coming from in Georgia, where it was just revealed that they were selling ballots for $10 apiece.”

Nothing like this has been “revealed”.

I don’t care if Trump releases a bunch of statements with obvious lies. I care that Trump’s statements with blatant lies apparently reflect some anxiety about his legal danger.

As for the larger controversy, in case anyone needs a refresher, let’s take a look at how we got here.

Trouble seemed to start in earnest on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, when Trump told Raffensperger he wanted someone to “find” enough votes to overthrow the state in favor of the then-president, the will of the voters. be cursed.

As we discussed shortly after, Raffensperger recorded the call, giving the audience the opportunity to hear Trump, desperate to reclaim the power he hasn’t earned, exploring ways to cheat, pleading with the others to participate in his anti-democracy scheme, and even directing some subtle threats against the state’s top election official. In some ways, it was one of the most outrageous recordings ever made of an American president.

It wasn’t long before some observers questioned whether such efforts were legal. Politico released a report noting that Trump’s antics “may violate federal and state criminal laws, legal experts and lawmakers say.”

Georgia prosecutors began to think along the same lines: Willis opened a criminal investigation into alleged violations of state election law, which seemed entirely sensible, as attempting to interfere with the legal administration of an election is a crime.

The investigation lasted for months, although, as NBC News reported last week, a significant number of witnesses refused to cooperate without subpoenas. Appointing a special grand jury that would sit indefinitely would have the power to subpoena witnesses, which is why the Fulton County prosecutor requested one.

A judge must still approve the local district attorney’s request for a special grand jury. Watch this place.

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2/ https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/criminal-investigation-georgia-clearly-has-trump-s-attention-n1287920

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